Professionalism. Accountability. Dedication. Respect. Durability. These are the pillars that have made Corey Parker a hero to footy fans in Queensland and throughout the NRL as well as a one-club man, Origin icon and three-time Broncos Best and Fairest.
The silver-haired elder statesman of 2016 who captains the Brisbane Broncos is light years from the raw-boned, skin-headed teen who muscled onto the scene in 2001. Talent-spotted by coaching guru Wayne Bennett, Parker quickly made his presence felt as both a sharp-shooting goal-kicker and a robust-running impact lock forward.
He made an explosive debut for Queensland in the 2004-05 series and played in the Broncos’ 2006 premiership but didn’t play Origin again until 2011. However, since then he has been a key cog in Queensland’s incredible streak of 10 wins from the past 11 series and, in 2015, won the Wally Lewis Medal as Man of the Series.
In 2015, Parker played his 300th NRL game, the 22nd player to achieve the feat and is the Broncos’ highest ever points scorer. Now in his 16th and final season, Parker has played more NRL games than any other forward in the game’s 108 year history. If he leads his Broncos to a grand final Parker will finish third on the all-time NRL games played ledger. Throw in 13 Tests for Australia and 19 Origin games for Queensland and you get an understanding for why Parker is hailed as League’s ultimate Iron Man.