Parker’s shin guard: a symbol of a desire to play Origin
Corey Parker will tonight be sporting a protective guard foreign to rugby league traditionalists: a shin guard.
But the shin guard is not merely a pad protecting the bone between the knee and the ankle; Corey Parker’s shin guard is symbolic of a Queenslander’s desire to play origin.
Tonight, Parker will make a last gasp effort to impress Queensland coach Mal Meninga before origin selection this Sunday.
Sam Thaiday will return for the origin decider leaving one position available on the bench.
Bulldogs prop Sam Kasiano has been touted as the bolter for the last bench spot in the third origin game, after begin heavily scrutinised for changing his allegiance from New Zealand to Queensland.
Kasiano taking the final bench spot is a threat to Parker, who is approaching the twilight of his career and may have limited opportunities left to don the Maroons Jumper.
The Broncos’ second rower injured his shin in the second state of origin, after his right boot pierced his left shin leaving a nasty gash.
The Maroons utility was taken from the field in the opening minutes of the second half, playing less than 15 minutes of the game.
Corey Parker was unable to impress with his limited amount of game time in Game two which is why he is rushing back for tonight’s game against the Rabbitohs.
Parker wants to repay the faith Meninga put into him in Game two and prove he can rise to Origin level once again.
The injury occurred just nine days ago with doctors deeming the following day Parker would almost certainly miss the final Origin match.
But is it too big a risk for Corey Parker to return from injury too early?
Parker’s club side the Broncos are ranked third on the ladder and will play the fourth placed Rabbitohs away at Suncorp Stadium.
The two teams are split on points for and against, which would see the Rabbitohs jump the Broncos into third position if South Sydney were to win this evening.
A win or loss by the Broncos may not change the complexion of their final’s aspirations too drastically, so Parker’s move to rush back into the side is due to the big picture of State of Origin three.
But if Parker were to re-injury his shin, he would be sidelined for an extended period, which could hurt the Broncos in their charge for the finals.
The use of a shin guard as a quick fix solution highlights Parker’s commitment to the QLD origin team.
The Maroons forward’s desire to play in potential the biggest game in origin history outweighs his precaution for further recovery.
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