Broncos hand captaincy to Parker

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Broncos hand captaincy to Parker

Wayne Bennett says he had no hesitation anointing Corey Parker as the next Brisbane captain despite admitting the veteran backrower’s form could “go pretty quickly”.

Bennett hoped the off-contract forward would play at least another year after officially unveiling Parker as retired great Justin Hodges’ successor on Friday.

Parker – who turns 34 in May – has shown no signs of slowing down ahead of his 16th NRL season.

The 323-game veteran would be in sight of Broncos great Darren Lockyer’s club record (355) if he played on in 2017.

Bennett admired the evergreen Parker but admitted they would have to monitor him throughout the year.

“The problem for people of Corey’s age is that it can go pretty quickly on them,” he said.

“We will just have to be careful with it.

“But right now there is no reason why he won’t be here in 2017.”

Parker had shared the captaincy with Hodges in 2014 under previous coach Anthony Griffin.

Bennett made Hodges sole captain when he returned to Brisbane last season.

“To earn the captaincy at such a late stage of my career is something I will truly treasure,” Parker said.

Bennett said in January that he knew who would replace Hodges as the new skipper but would not reveal it until before the NRL season kick-off.

“He leads from the front,” Bennett said of the quality that earned Parker the reins.

Parker held out other captaincy candidates Sam Thaiday, Ben Hunt, Darius Boyd and Andrew McCullough.

Brisbane – last year’s NRL runners-up – kick off their season away to Parramatta on March 3.

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