Broncos legend returns for Nines campaign
COREY Parker is coming out of retirement with the 37-year-old Broncos legend set to receive the green light from authorities for a cameo appearance at the NRL Nines tournament.
Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold confirmed Parker's name is among an 18-strong Broncos squad submitted to the NRL for approval for the return of the nine-a-side format starting in Perth on Friday week.
Parker retired from the NRL in 2016 after amassing 347 games in a stellar 16-season career, but the Origin ironman is dusting off the boots to add experience to a youthful Broncos squad for the fifth edition of the Nines.
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The Nines has previously hosted comebacks from retired veterans - Roosters great Brad Fittler played in the 2014 event - and the NRL will rubberstamp Parker's inclusion in the next 24 hours.
Parker is now a member of Brisbane's coaching staff and Seibold says the 19-game Queensland Origin warhorse, who has lost around 8kg since his playing days, will relish a return to Broncos colours.
"We're awaiting approval from the NRL but we've asked for Corey to be part of our Nines squad," Seibold said.
"If he is approved, which we expect, he will wear jersey No.18 and get some limited game time.
"It was my idea - I asked him if he would be keen to play.
"We have two commitments that weekend. We have a trial in Central Queensland and there's the Nines tournament, so our roster is stretched and I thought a veteran like Corey Parker could offer something to the group at the Nines.
"Corey is still in great shape. They are only short games so he may not get a lot of minutes, but I like the idea of Corey mentoring the guys. He is doing work with our middle forwards this year so Corey's experience for the younger blokes will be invaluable."
Runners-up in the inaugural tournament in 2014, the Broncos are keen to win the Nines with Seibold to roll out an impressive squad featuring attacking whiz Anthony Milford and forward young guns David Fifita and Payne Haas.
New halfback Brodie Croft, an off-season recruit from the Storm, will also make his Broncos debut as the Dalby product looks to cultivate a slick scrumbase partnership with Milford.
"Brodie will be in the squad," Seibold said.
"Kurt Richards (assistant coach) will take charge of the team and we will do some specific Nines preparation from next Monday.
"The players know who is going and I'm keen to see young guys like Jesse Arthars, Tesi Niu, 'Izzy' Perese and Herbie Farnworth.
"We want to go over there and give a good account of ourselves. It will be exciting for our supporters to see the young talent coming through at our club."