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2 days ago
The million dollar question inevitably came up during Brisbane backrower Corey Parker's NRL contract negotiations - who is coaching the Broncos next year?
But Parker insisted that he didn't get a concrete answer from the Broncos, and that it wouldn't matter if he did.
Parker, 25, said his faith in the NRL club, and not inside knowledge on Wayne Bennett's successor, ensured he re-signed for another three years.
"There was certainly an enquiry there (about the next coach), but in regards to who it is going to be I know as much as you guys," said Parker.
"There's no coach set up for next year but that was not part of my decision to stay here. I love the club."
The former Queensland Origin backrower was confident the person signed to replace the long-serving Bennett would be top quality and suited to the set up.
"You have only got to look at the organisation over the last 21 years to realise the club is run so professionally that whoever is coming to the club is not going to be a goose," he said.
"My trust and faith was always there for the club in regards to who is going to coach next year.
"He is going to be at the top of their profession, and suited to the culture which is important."
Broncos boss Bruno Cullen said Parker's re-signing until the end of 2011 showed confidence in the club as they searched for Bennett's replacement.
"Corey has signed without the knowledge of who is going to be coaching the club going," he said.
"It's an indication from the player group that besides the head coach we have a very good coaching structure here, and that the players are generally very satisfied.
"I'm sure Corey would have been talking to some of his mates around the place before making that decision.
"And if there was an undermining effect that things were going to go pear shaped he certainly wouldn't have signed."
Cullen hoped Parker's announcement would have a "knock on" effect with other off-contract Broncos such as Ben Hannant and David Stagg.
"We have tried to get the message out there that - and this is all due respect to Wayne and whoever comes in his place - that the club is going to remain the same despite losing an icon like Wayne," Cullen said.
"The structure will be the same."
Cullen conceded the Broncos were in no rush to announce Bennett's replacement, saying it would take "a few weeks" before a new coach was named.
Parker - who first signed with the Broncos as a 15-year-old scholarship holder - is in his eighth NRL season and is set to return from a knee injury next week.
Meanwhile, Cullen said Parker's re-signing had not affected their interest in Melbourne star Israel Folau.
He said the Storm teenager was "still in the mix", however, the Broncos were resigned to playing a waiting game.
The Broncos are hopeful Folau knocks back Melbourne and returns to Brisbane where his family lives.