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It is arguably the greatest rivalry in world sport, fuelled by the mantra 'mate against mate, state against state.'

But is it a step too far to use the word hate?

Fans may not think so but Maroons veteran Corey Parker certainly does.



The 33-year-old has been apart of many a great and controversial moment during his 14 games for the Maroons.

However that four-letter word doesn't sit entirely well with the Queensland lock when asked if it sums up the rivalry which he has long been at the coalface of.

"I don't like the word hate, I try to tell me kids not to use that word," Parker said.

"Playing against NSW there has been a fantastic rivalry over a long period of time but put it this way I know guys in the NSW side that I'm mates with.

"It is like club footy at times, the moment you cross that white line that mateship is gone for 80 minutes and this (Wednesday) will be no different.

"Certainly if you're passionate about something and you've got pride in what you do, which everyone in this team does, then the rest will look after itself."

Parker will be in the midst own his own battle on Wednesday night against his opposing number and returning Blues skipper Paul Gallen.

A hip injury sidelined Gallen for Game One where the Maroons took a 1-0 series lead courtesy of a Cooper Cronk field goal.

Now the Blues talisman will return to face Queensland and Parker once again, and the experienced Maroon is well aware of what awaits him in Game Two.

"Gal is a great player in his own right, whatever side he is playing for he is a very important part of their team," Parker said.

"He seems to be the player your teammates look towards for inspiration or that tough carry.

"He has shown over the last four or five years in particular with the Blues team that he is certainly their leader. He is back for them on Wednesday and again he will be an important player."

Queensland and NSW will kick off Game Two at 8pm on Wednesday night in front of a huge crowd at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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