Corey Parker admits he is starting to feel emotional as he prepares for what could be his final NRL match in Brisbane.
Parker, who will retire at the end of the season, will be officially farewelled by the Broncos in Thursday night’s clash with the Sydney Roosters, although it is likely the 34-year-old co-captain will get another chance to play at the venue during the finals.
A full suite of celebrations is planned with the expected crowd of around 35,000 to be allowed on the field for a post-match presentation.
“It’s crept up rather quickly,” Parker told reporters on Monday.
“There’s a few emotions going on at the moment but obviously I knew this day was going to come.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad on the one hand, that it’s all going to come to an end this year.
“It’s all I’ve done for 16 years.
“But on the other hand, I’m very excited about what the future brings.”
Parker is keen to celebrate the occasion with a win but says a top-four finish – which is within reach if the Broncos win, Gold Coast beats North Queensland and Canterbury also lose to South Sydney this weekend – is not necessarily the priority for Brisbane.
“The simple answer is keep winning and you don’t have to worry about the results,” he said.
“That’s certainly where we’re at, but it’s against the Chooks on Thursday and if we get that job done we’ll look forward from there.”
Hooker Andrew McCullough didn’t train on Monday at Red Hill due to injury but is still expected to play on Thursday.
McCullough, whose previous absence due to a shoulder injury coincided with the Broncos’ six-week form slump, sat out the session after rolling his ankle.
“Hopefully we have him back because we really missed him in that period where we had a few losses and he’s really important to our team,” fullback Darius Boyd said.
“Macca’s one of our key players, we all know that as a group.
“He probably doesn’t get all the accolades he should but inside our group we know he’s really special to our team.”