Parker’s exile from Origin very close to ending

With David Taylor playing inconsistently, and Corey Parker playing as brilliantly as he always does, the Broncos stalwart has emerged as a candidate to play his first Origin match in 6 years.

With the team announced on Tuesday, Parker is going up against Cowboys lock Dallas Johnson for the final spot on the bench.

Alan Smith, a Maroons selector said that he and the other selectors will discuss amongst themselves, just who out of Parker and Johnson, will get the nod for the final bench spot.

“We’ve been really impressed by Corey,” Smith said.

“He’s been very good for a couple of years now and his name will certainly be discussed, as will Dallas.

“It’s no coincidence that the Cowboys’ defence this season is a lot better than it has been the last couple of years and Dallas is a big part of that. He and Corey are well thought of – they are certainly in the mix.”

Parker can perhaps consider himself unlucky over the past few years, having played brilliantly throughout his career over the last few years, yet, he still was not named to play Origin during that period.

Parker has received support from current QLD five-eighth, and club team-mate Darren Lockyer, who says that Parker more than deserves a spot, given his consistent footy.

“A couple of injuries in the forwards have opened up a spot and Corey has been playing exceptionally consistent football for the Broncos for the past three years at least,” Lockyer said.

“He’s one of those players if you put him in the middle, he’s got a big motor and defensively he cleans up a lot of stuff. In attack, he offers the odd offload here and there.”

Despite the 6-year hiatus, Parker himself said that the dream to represent QLD never fades, and he looks forward to the opportunity, if given the chance.

“You never lose sight of that dream and that desire to play for Queensland,” Parker said.

“It’s always nice to have your name thrown around in that arena, but I’ve got no control outside of what I do here for the Broncos, which is playing good footy.”

Even Broncos coach Anthony Griffin believes the hiatus should end, right now.

“If they are picking the team on club form, Corey as a tight backrower … well, there hasn’t been a better one in the competition this year,” Griffin said.

“He is an 80-minute player, he can play under fatigue, his efforts in the 70th minute are just as strong as in the seventh minute and that’s what you need in Origin.

“He should be right there in the mix.”

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