Wayne Bennett and Corey Parker during a Broncos training session earlier this year. Picture: Peter Wallis
Wayne Bennett and Corey Parker during a Broncos training session earlier this year. Picture: Peter Wallis

Monday Buzz: More Broncos drama as another club legend exits

MYSTERY surrounds the disappearance of another Brisbane Broncos legend from coaching staff on the eve of the NRL ­finals.

The club's 347-game veteran Corey Parker has left in controversial circumstances, just a couple of months after the departure of ­Maroons State of Origin coach Kevvie Walters.

The behind-the-scenes drama around Parker's departure is the big story here.

I'll give you my version of events and then Corey's denial.

The Broncos had a night out recently and, as the evening wore on, Parker became critical of the captaincy and leadership of his old mate Darius Boyd.

A number of players took exception, including centre James Roberts.

Witnesses say it almost got ugly. That the old James Roberts would have put on a full-scale blue.

Parker's comments got back to Bennett, who then made the decision to cut the former Queensland and Australian forward from the coaching staff for the rest of the season.

 

Corey Parker and Kevin Walters have both left the Broncos coaching staff. Picture: Peter Wallis
Corey Parker and Kevin Walters have both left the Broncos coaching staff. Picture: Peter Wallis
 

I put these allegations to Parker on Sunday morning.

"What are you looking to do here," he said.

"You're not right. I had to pull back, my wife had just started full-time radio. We've got four kids and I've got too much going on."

So I asked him again: "Are you denying you had the stink with James Roberts over ­Darius?"

"Yeah, that's fine, you write what you have to write," he said.

"There's no story there. What's the story? What's the angle? I still speak to Wayne once or twice a week.

"Me and Darius have had a strong relationship since we first started back in 2005."

Broncos insiders insist Parker was out of order on the night.

They say he has never really got over the disappointment of not being made captain years ago when Darren Lockyer ­retired and the job went to ­Justin Hodges.

Still, earlier this year when Parker was appointed to Bennett's staff, he spoke of his long-term plans in rugby league.

"The burning desire is to be an NRL coach," he said.

"I have played for the Broncos for 16 years, so to be involved in a coaching capacity is really nice and brings me a lot of satisfaction."

 

Corey Parker farewells fans after his final game for the Broncos in 2016. Picture: Getty Images)
Corey Parker farewells fans after his final game for the Broncos in 2016. Picture: Getty Images)

 

That's why his recent exit was so surprising.

This drama cannot be helping the team.

To lose one coach during the season is hard enough, let alone two legends.

The situation is that the players are split. They are backing Boyd but still have enormous respect for Parker and what he achieved at the club over 15 seasons.

He has been a hero for many of the young forwards who are emerging now.

Thursday night's terrible loss to the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium would indicate there are some internal issues.

Plus the uncertainty of Bennett's own future at the club and the talk of an approach to high-flying South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold.

The Broncos play North Queensland, South Sydney, Sydney Roosters and Manly in the run home.

Their hopes of finishing in the top four now look to be ­beyond them.



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