Josh McGuire and Corey Parker chat during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session last year.
Josh McGuire and Corey Parker chat during a Queensland Maroons State of Origin training session last year. Bradley Kanaris

McGuire a lock to be Parker replacement

RUGBY LEAGUE: Exactly who will take over retired Brisbane skipper Corey Parker's No.13 jersey has been the subject of much discussion throughout the pre-season.

The likes of Josh McGuire, Jai Arrow and new recruit Korbin Sims have all been touted for the role which Parker had made his own since 2009.

But as it turns out, in the same manner as Darius Boyd's captaincy announcement, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett likes to inform his players of his plans well in advance, which is why McGuire knew months ago that he'd be moving out of the front row in 2017.

"I've known I'm playing lock since last year," McGuire revealed to foxsports.com.au.

"I've had conversations with Wayne about it, so I know where I'm playing and my role within the team.

"I've had a long time to get my head around that and the way I want to do it.

 

Corey Parker and Josh McGuire of the Maroons celebrate following Queensland's State of Origin II win in 2016.
Corey Parker and Josh McGuire of the Maroons celebrate following Queensland's State of Origin II win in 2016. DAVE HUNT

"It doesn't really change much to be honest, I guess I won't have to take the kick offs or the earlier rucks which is probably a bit better for me because I'm a bit smaller.

"I'm now able to use my feet and speed behind some of the bigger guys."

After being overlooked for the Australian squad for last year's end-of-season Four Nations tournament, McGuire returned to training at the end of November in the third Broncos group alongside teammates Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough.

The 26-year-old has dropped down from 104kg to 102kg and reckons his new weight will put him in good stead for the lock role. He also expects to up his game time from the 58 minutes he was averaging last season.

"It's been a really good pre-season, it's probably the best I've felt coming into a season and it's the lightest I've been," McGuire said.

"(The new weight) makes it a bit easier running around the field and it's more comfortable.

 

Josh McGuire passes the ball during the Brisbane Broncos training session
Josh McGuire passes the ball during the Brisbane Broncos training session DAVE HUNT

"I'm looking forward to moving the ball around a bit more as opposed to that stuck role of just hitting it up and making a lot of tackles.

"I can hopefully be a bit more creative and play off the back of the bigger guys which will be nice.

"It'll be a good opportunity to play in a new position."

So has he asked for few tips from the man whose big shoes he'll be filling?

"Not really, I played with 'Cozza' for a long time so I know what he brought," McGuire said.

"I'm just going to play the way I plan on playing.

"Like I said, my role won't change too much. I'll still be heavily involved in running and tackling.

"It's more the other little things I've been working on which help you develop as a player."

News Corp Australia


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