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Parker returns to Broncos training

By Eden Richards, NRL.com

TEAM CHAT        PHOTO: Scott Powick - SMP IMAGES.COM

Brisbane Broncos legend Corey Parker has been spotted at Red Hill, with the recently retired lock re-emerging to kick start his former side's revival after a poor start to 2017. 

However, Parker will not be coming out of retirement, instead he will be donning his coaching cap rather than the jersey that he played in for 347 NRL games. 

New to the coaching scene, Parker is helping Broncos coach Wayne Bennett's forward pack, educating a relatively young bench with knowledge that can only come from a 16-year NRL career. 

The Broncos are struggling after having fallen to a 2-3 record, but second-row forward Matt Gillett isn't panicking, saying that Parker's return to the club will help his side return to form in the near future. 

“Corey has been around the club for a long time now so he just wants to help out as much as he can,” Gillett said.  

“He brings a lot of professionalism and that's something he is trying to teach the squad. 

“He's been helping out the forwards a fair bit so he's just focusing on those boys at the moment, especially the guys who work around the ruck."

It will be a monumental battle between two powerful forward packs when the Broncos face the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on tomorrow (Thursday) night. 

Brisbane have received a boost with the news that Roosters enforcer Dylan Napa will not be taking the field this week due to an ankle injury he picked up in his side's loss to the Manly Sea Eagles in Round 5. 

The 24-year-old will miss up to a month of football, but Broncos prop Adam Blair said Napa's young Roosters team-mates will make up for his absence. 

“Their team is quality and their forward pack is big,” Blair said. 

“They'll obviously miss Napa's aggression but they have others who can fill his spot. The young guys in that team will stand up in his absence. 

“The boys and I just need to do our jobs when we go out there on Thursday night. 

“That's what we preach about at this club. Each player knows they have to go out there and do what's needed of them.”

In what is something of a rarity, Brisbane's squad failed to do their job in their 10-7 loss to the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Round 5. 

Every Broncos starting forward was outplayed by their opposite number, with not one of Brisbane's starting forward pack even coming close to running for as many metres as their direct opponent. 

It's a worrying sign for the Broncos who have greatly missed Parker's influence this year. 

Coaching staff and players alike will be hopeful his reappearance at the club has an immediate effect or else the pressure will continue to mount. 

*This first appeared on NRL.com