Parker given all clear for NRL finals

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.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!