NRL 1 year ago

Parker still savouring Qld jersey

  • Parker still savouring Qld jersey

    GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 29: Corey Parker is caught by the defence during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session on May 29, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

At 34, most footballers are told to hand in their representative jersey.

But it seems Queensland selectors will have to tear it out of evergreen lock Corey Parker's vice-like grasp.

These days Parker is one of the first players picked by the Maroons despite being on the wrong side of 30.

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Parker does not have to be reminded that it wasn't the case, not so long ago.

In 2005 Parker was enjoying his second Origin series as an emerging Broncos forward.

He didn't get picked again for Queensland until 2011.

"I sat there and watched for six years," Parker said of his Origin frustration.

"I don't intend giving up a Queensland jersey any time soon if I am good enough."

He still certainly seems that.

Parker has shown no sign of slowing down since his 2011 Queensland recall and will play his 17th Origin in Wednesday night's series opener in Sydney.

He has powered through to 334 NRL games for Brisbane to date, moving to fifth overall on the all-time standings and well within sight of Darren Lockyer's 355-match record.

He is the game's longest serving forward, eclipsing Nathan Hindmarsh (330 games) of Parramatta.

Brisbane's goal kicking forward has also amassed a remarkable 1,284 NRL points since his 2001 debut.

Curiously he is yet to get on the board in Origin.

Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston says he will retire from representative football after the 2017 World Cup.

Maroons skipper Cameron Smith - who will play a record 37th Origin on Wednesday night - may keep playing for Queensland until 2018.

But Parker reckons there is no end in sight for him.

"As long as I am still good enough," Parker added.

"A Queensland jersey is never something you take for granted.

"And when you've got one you don't want to let anyone down."

Parker is ready for more "Dad's Army" jokes from NSW in a pack featuring four other teammates in the 30-year club.

"There are quite a few of us on the other side of 30 but experience is good," Parker said.

Parker then joked: "Dad's Army? Doesn't that just mean you have kids?"

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