Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has cleared recovering back-rower Corey Parker to play Saturday night’s NRL qualifying final against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.
Parker ran strongly at Friday’s Suncorp Stadium session, allaying fears over a troublesome hamstring complaint that forced him to leave training early on Wednesday.
Brisbane have also been boosted by fellow veteran forward Sam Thaiday re-signing for another three years, all but ensuring he is a Bronco for life.
Bennett said he was never concerned by Parker’s complaint.
“He was never out. You guys just made a big news story out of it,” he said.
“(But) all our quality players mean a lot to us and he is no different.”
Bennett also did not seem to be stressing about re-signing Thaiday despite contract talks dragging out for months.
Bennett said 30-year-old Thaiday had earned the Broncos’ loyalty after extending his glittering 13-season career at Brisbane by signing on until the end of 2018.
“I have always valued it (loyalty) here,” Bennett said.
“That’s why I have had a lot of players play out their careers here.
“Sometimes it doesn’t happen but we try to make it happen particularly if players are putting in, not resting on their 250-game laurels.
“At the same time I can’t be blind when someone is not putting in, then I have to be honest and tell them it is time to play somewhere else.”
Thaiday said re-signing with the Broncos was always a “done deal”.
“In my heart I always wanted to stay at the Broncos,” Thaiday said.
“I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else, it was always a done deal.
“I’m happy to be here, and happy to be here for life.”
North Queensland have a 3-0 finals record against Brisbane.
The winner of Saturday night’s sold out clash will earn a preliminary final berth and a week off.
The loser will play a knockout final next week against the winner of Sunday’s Cronulla-South Sydney playoff.