Corey Parker Looking forward to Prime Ministers XIII clash in PNG

Broncos and now Prime Minister’s XIII Lock Corey Parker has spoken today ahead of their annual match against the Papua New Guinea Kumuls in Kokopo on Sunday 29 September 2013.
The Number 13 was one of four Broncos - along with Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett and Ben Hannant - who assembled at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium this morning for a team medical and training session.
And Parker is looking forward to the challenge in ten days’ time after a couple of years out of the PM’s XIII squad.
“Yes it’s good – obviously the season has finished for us at the Broncos and there’s an opportunity for us to keep going,” Parker said.
“It’s a good concept – I’ve been fortunate enough to play before, and if you haven’t played over there, it’s certainly an eye-opener and I’m looking forward to it.”
By ‘eye-opener’, Parker is referring to the cult status that rugby league holds over in PNG amongst the locals, who genuinely relish the chance to meet some of their NRL heroes in the flesh once a year.
“I think it’s the only country where rugby league is their national sport,” Parker said.
“So if you can picture it when we turn up at the airport - with no exaggeration - about six or seven thousand people are there and all they want to do is be around you and touch you.
“So it is special and the community get right behind it. It’s one of those games, that as a footballer, you like to be part of.”
And what about playing against the PNG Kumuls (named after the bird of paradise in the Tok Pisin language) on home turf?
“They’re a relentless type of footballer – very hard, and certainly the conditions over there are different to what we’re used to here. So it’ll present some challenges but something we’ll be used to.”
Kangaroos national team coach Tim Sheens will accompany the Laurie Daley-coached Prime Minister’s XIII team to Papua New Guinea, with the match viewed as an important selection trial for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Something not lost on the recently named Rugby League Week Player of the Year.
“Yeah there is a World Cup in a few weeks, and Sheens is coming over and he’s let it known to most guys that it potentially could be a trial match for that,” Parker said.
“It will be football as per normal but I’m sure everyone here will be professional and do the things that we do week in – week out back home.
“There’s been a lot of footy played this year in terms of putting your best foot forward for the World Cup at the end of the year.
“But it’s just about doing your job and doing it to the best of your ability. And I’m sure the selectors and Tim will come together with a great squad at the end of it - and hopefully I’m part of that.”
18 players have been named in the Prime Minister’s XIII squad, which features unlimited interchange using a five-man bench.
The team will assemble in Cairns next Thursday 26 September before travelling onto Papua New Guinea.
The full squad is:
Fullback - Jarryd Hayne - Parramatta Eels
Wing - Brett Morris - St George Illawarra Dragons
Centre - Brent Tate - North Queensland Cowboys
Centre - Josh Morris - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Wing - Kevin Gordon - Gold Coast Titans
Five-Eighth - Greg Bird - Gold Coast Titans
Halfback - Aidan Sezer - Gold Coast Titans
Prop - Ryan James - Gold Coast Titans
Hooker - Robbie Farah - Wests Tigers
Prop - James Tamou - North Queensland Cowboys
Second Row - Sam Thaiday - Brisbane Broncos
Second Row - Josh Papalii - Canberra Raiders
Lock - Corey Parker - Brisbane Broncos
Interchange - Gavin Cooper - North Queensland Cowboys
Interchange - Matt Gillett - Brisbane Broncos
Interchange - David Shillington - Canberra Raiders
Interchange - Josh Reynolds - Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Interchange - Ben Hannant - Brisbane Broncos
*UPDATE*: The first group of players has just been named for the Samoan squad for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup which includes two Broncos in forwards Lama Tasi and Dunamis Lui

Source: Broncos.com.au 
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