Broncos' Parker set to retire
Corey Parker has announced that season 2016 will be his final year in the NRL.
The announcement comes as Parker prepares to play what will now be his final State of Origin match on home soil when Queensland face NSW on Wednesday night.
However fans of Parker will have several more opportunities to see their club captain run out on to the hallowed turf of Suncorp Stadium, with Parker to play out the remainder of this year with the Broncos.
With 336 NRL games, 34-year-old Parker already has played more matches as a forward than any other person.
But even with great mate Darren Lockyer’s all-time NRL record of 355 matches beckoning, Parker said the time was right to make the decision.
Already with an impressive media career behind him, Parker will expand those avenues in his retirement.
"I have been very fortunate to fulfil a childhood dream to play for the Broncos," said Parker.
"At some stage all good things come to an end, and 2016 will be the end of my playing career, but the start of my new journey off the field in which I will remain part of the game.
"I'd like to thank my family and close friends, my teammates and coaches over 16 years, the Broncos club, members and fans, and the game of rugby league as a whole."
A product of the Logan Brothers club, Parker was signed by the Broncos as a 17-year-old, and became both an Australian Schoolboy and Junior Kangaroo.
He played his first games in the Broncos' system for feeder club Toowoomba Clydesdales in season 1999.
Parker made his NRL debut as an 18-year-old interchange front rower in round six of 2001, scoring a try against the Warriors.
He made his State of Origin debut for Queensland in 2004 and kicked an important goal in the Broncos’ 2006 premiership triumph.
In 2011 he fulfilled a lifetime dream when he was selected for the Four Nations tour of England as a Kangaroo.
Parker has now played 13 Tests for Australia, including the 2013 World Cup victory, and will play his 18th Origin match for Queensland on Wednesday.
But his greatest achievements have come off field, with him and wife Margaux parents to four children – Memphis (6 years), Wylei (5), Jagger (2) and five-month-old River.
Broncos chief executive Paul White said Parker's career epitomised the hard work and dedication it took to become an elite player in the NRL
"Corey is a role model for what the Broncos stand for as a club - he started here as a teenager and will finish his career here," said White.
"Not many people get to do that in the NRL, but he has earned that respect and the right to retire on his own terms.
"We wish him and his family well for the future now this decision has been made, and will enjoy honouring his career with our members and supporters over the remainder of this season."
This video first featured at broncos.com.au