Parker: Cowboys rematch 'just another game'
The Brisbane Broncos are set to unveil a new-look backline for this Friday's grand final rematch at Suncorp Stadium.
It is expected that Lachlan Maranta and Greg Eden will start on each wing, with Jordan Kahu and James Roberts starting in the centres. Maranta's return from injury means that the Broncos' wingers and centres will be entirely different from the team that played in the 2015 NRL Grand Final.
The retirement of Justin Hodges, as well as injuries to Jack Reed and Corey Oates, has forced coach Wayne Bennett to rearrange Brisbane's outside backs.
Captain Corey Parker said the experience of Jack Reed would be missed against a potent Cowboys backline, with the 27-year-old needing eye surgery to repair a damaged retina.
"I feel for 'Reedy' to be honest. He's had a terrible run with injuries over his career," Parker said.
"We're going to miss him again due to some soreness around his eye.
"He brings so much experience and makes the other guys around him more comfortable in their positions. In saying that, I'm sure his replacements will do a good job."
The Cowboys delivered Brisbane their first grand final loss in the history of the club in 2015 and that has just added to the already fiery Queensland rivalry.
Parker was quick to play down suggestions this game meant more to Brisbane than other regular season fixtures, despite the history between the two teams.
Crowd numbers suggest otherwise, with over 50,000 fans expected to flock to Suncorp Stadium.
"For us it's just another game in the competition. It's only Round 4 and there are 26 Rounds throughout the year. The two points for us on offer this weekend are just as important as two points in Round 24," Parker said.
"We'll be looking to rectify the performance we dished out last week against Penrith.
"We've all moved on from last year. This year is what we're concentrating on. It's another game in the season.
"It's a big occasion playing at home on Good Friday. There should be a good crowd and a great atmosphere and that's how we're looking at it."
North Queensland are yet to win at Suncorp Stadium under coach Paul Green and their last visit to Brisbane resulted in a 44-22 loss in Round 3 last year.
If the Cowboys are to win they will have to defy history, with the North Queenslanders winless at Lang Park since Round 2, 2012.