McGuire taking a leaf out of Parker's book

Josh McGuire during a Brisbane Bronco training session at Red Hill.
Josh McGuire during a Brisbane Bronco training session at Red Hill. DAVE HUNT

JOSH McGuire has already declared he will be his own man in Brisbane's No.13 jumper.

But when it plays like Corey Parker, sparks training scuffles like Corey Parker, even dresses like Corey Parker ... well that's not the worst thing in the maroon and gold world.

McGuire looked plenty comfortable locking the scrum Parker made his own over an incredible 16 seasons, going pretty much carry-for-carry, tackle-for-tackle with Cronulla counterpart Paul Gallen in last Thursday's season-opener.

Complementing Brisbane's handy round-one disposal of the premiers, McGuire has begun talks around extending his deal with the club, and like the loyal Parker, doesn't see himself leaving Red Hill any time soon.

His former skipper Justin Hodges reckons that's just the tip of the iceberg, with McGuire adopting the same physical-bordering-on-feral training presence that Parker made his hallmark as a young Broncos buck.

"(McGuire) and Cozza have always been pretty close, you'd call it a mentor role, and he even dresses like Cozza," Hodges laughs.

"They've roomed together, he spent a fair bit of time living in his pocket and that's what you want to see - those young players looking up to the older blokes and seeing what they can learn and adopt."

Referencing a training spat last September in which McGuire traded blows with fringe forward Salesi Funaki, Hodges declared: "That's a bit of that old bull, young bull stuff you get in footy teams.

"He definitely learned that one off Cozza. Guys like Sammy Thaiday too, they're ultra-competitive when it comes to those younger guys and it's really good for a club and really good to see Josh adopt that."

Much like Parker, McGuire himself doesn't get the fuss around his approach to the practice paddock.

"I like to try and train hard, I just don't think there's any point in training soft because you'll play soft," McGuire said.

"I enjoy the contact, I enjoy training with contact.

"Things like that are going to happen in our sport so it's water off a duck's back really ... Salesi and I are mates, he's part of the club. I still train the same, he does, the whole club does."

The five-time Queensland Origin rep is more forthcoming on both where he's come from, and where he's going.

With a host of big-name Broncos off-contract, McGuire hopes to tie his future again to the only club he's ever known. Just like Parker.

"Obviously you want to stay at the club, I've been there since I was a kid," he said.

"I love the club, I've been there a long time, my friends are there and my family too, so it's definitely something I want to do.

"You've got to make sure you weigh up all your options, I've got no desire to leave, but I'll make that decision if it comes up.

" I've talked with (the Broncos), but I'm letting my management team take care of most of that.

"(Family) is my priority and it'll always be my priority, but I don't see myself leaving the club to be honest."

Having just turned 27 earlier this month, McGuire looms as a key pillar of the Broncos' future forward packs.

Along with Matt Gillett, who last year re-signed until the end of 2020, and Andrew McCullough, McGuire looms as a natural leader upfront when veterans Sam Thaiday and Alex Blair follow Parker into the great footballing beyond.

As for his progression into Parker's big boots, McGuire sees it as a natural one. Again, he doesn't seem all that fazed by it.

"This is probably coming into my ninth or 10th season in first grade now so you've got to lead I guess.

"As older guys move on and you get older it just becomes part and parcel of the role.

"I probably don't act any different around the club, but you just try to lead by example on the football field and make sure I'm doing my job.

"I probably enjoyed drinking and mucking around with the boys a bit more a couple of years ago.

"I still enjoy a beer, but training and doing my job for the team is my main priority."

Topics:  brisbane broncos corey parker josh mcguire justin hodges nrl

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