Brisbane Broncos legend Corey Parker misses the game of rugby league and loves a challenge so when Anthony Seibold asked him to suit up for the NRL Nines he was quick to jump at the chance.
The 37-year-old has been retired for three seasons and is now an assistant coach at the Broncos where he played 347 first grade games.
Running out in Perth with a group of young Broncos with big futures has the 2006 premiership pumped about putting on the boots again.
“What a great opportunity,” Parker told NRL.com.
“I still love the game and I miss the game. That is part and parcel of retirement.
“There are not too many sports where you play all your life from an eight-year-old to in my case 34…and then that’s the end.
“To get an opportunity to run out there with arguably some of the games superstars was at my age something I couldn’t refuse, plus being involved with those lads on a day-to-day basis in a coaching realm was enticing as well.
“It was a pretty easy decision from my end.”
Parker has kept himself in shape since his retirement. He runs marathons and has a gymnasium at home where he works out.
“That is just part of my daily routine. I get up and train five days a week,” Parker said.
“When you play week to week you have challenges to beat your opposing team and beat your opposing number.
“When you retire there are no challenges. I have stayed driven and I like a challenge.”
Parker has sat back in awe and watched David Fifita and Payne Haas take the NRL by storm and is relishing playing alongside them after helping fine tune their games as a coach.
“Now I get the opportunity to run out and have a bit of fun with them. That is why you play footy whether you are 37 like me, or 19 like some of those guys,” he said.
“To get the opportunity to run out again in Broncos colours is pretty special and something I couldn’t refuse.”
The Broncos’ Nines team will play on February 14-15 in Perth and they have a squad of players lining up in Rockhampton against the CQ Capras on February 15 as well including Darius Boyd, Jack Bird and Andrew McCullough.