In a foxsports.com.au poll, rugby league fans declared 52-Test veteran Darren Lockyer as Australia's finest international rugby league star - beating out the likes of Wally Lewis, Andrew Johns and Mal Meninga in capturing 35 per cent of the vote.
Lockyer won the vote 10 months after foxsports.com.au crowned him NRL Player of the Decade.
For Sailor, a teammate of Lockyer's at club, state and international level, the memory of that first Test against New Zealand speaks volumes about the Australia captain's character.
Greatest Kangaroos Player
Who is the greatest Kangaroos player in history?
"Robbie O'Davis was the fullback and he got injured over at North Harbour Stadium" Sailor recalls.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
"Locky came on and he had the worst debut I've seen of any player at any level.
"For most players, that would break them. But three days later, he played for the Broncos and got man of the match.
"That just shows what a class act he is."
Australia lost that Test against the Kiwis 22-16, and both players have joked over the years about Lockyer's performance.
"Those sort of things make players, and it just showed me he was a true champion," Sailor says.
At 33, Lockyer has fought off an ageing body and numerous calls for his retirement to reinforce his status on the game's biggest stage - and to boost the calls of Tommy Raudonikis and Steve Mortimer for him to be named an Immortal.
His recognition as the greatest Kangaroos player comes on the back of a quintessential display against Papua New Guinea that saw Lockyer cross the line for his 34th Test try, eclipsing the long-standing record held by Ken Irvine.
"Whether it's Arthur Beetson or Ben Elias, for the last couple of years people were saying Lockyer should retire" Sailor says.
"The best way to shut your critics up is to keep producing and keep performing at that level, and I think he's done that."
Few people are better qualified than Sailor to judge Lockyer's career, the two sharing a close bond on and off the field from the time the latter joined Brisbane Broncos in 1995.
"We played Parramatta, he came on for the last 25 minutes and set up about three tries" Sailor says of Lockyer's first-grade debut.
"I said 'Darren Lockyer, eh? We won't forget that name because we'll be hearing lots of it'.
"I didn't think he was ever going to be one of the greatest players the game has seen, but he is and he deserves it."
Lockyer's reign at the top of his era hasn't been without hindrance, his playing style often putting him in the line of fire - something Sailor believes fans and spectators may not fully appreciate.
"I remember one off-season we went for a family trip, he was on crutches and just to see the pain he went through ... he didn't know if he was going to come back and become the sort of player he is now.
"But even though he's lost a yard of speed, there's no substitute for brain and toughness ... that's obviously why people have rated him as the best."
Despite having 16 seasons behind him, Lockyer still has the opportunity to write another chapter or two in the story of his international career.
A potential Four Nations title and the prospect of doing it all again in 2011 means Lockyer's reputation as the best ever is sure to gain further momentum.
A long way removed from that disastrous Friday night in Auckland, Lockyer has gone on to become the face of a proud rugby league nation. And he is on the fast track to becoming a rugby league Immortal.
That is something not lost on Sailor.
"I'm going to look back, glad I got the chance to play with Darren Lockyer," Sailor says.
"Because he's one of the best that the game has ever seen."
Further proves the man's the next immortal. He's done it all, what a legend.