NOT getting picked in the Brisbane Broncos squad for the World Club Series in England was one indicator to Matt Parcell that he will be back in an Ipswich Jets jersey before much longer.
But if Parcell is disappointed he isn’t showing it.
Instead, Parcell is determined to play so well for the Jets that his form is irresistible once an opening appears in the Broncos NRL squad.
Since debuting for the Broncos at the Auckland Nines, the hooker has played in trials against Intrust Super (Queensland) Cup clubs Central Queensland and Wynnum Manly.
“The Auckland Nines was a really good experience,” Parcell said. “It was a bit disappointing against Wynnum.
“We didn’t complete very well.”
Parcell and his teammates get the chance to make up for it with the final pre-season trial against Redcliffe on Saturday. But after that he expects to return to the Jets, for whom he was named best and fairest last season.
The Fassifern junior didn’t expect to be going to England, though fellow Ipswich product Joe Ofahengaue has been given the chance to impress there.
“Joe played really well in the Mackay game against the Cowboys,” Parcell said.
That was when Parcell was in Auckland playing nines, something for which he earned some rare praise from coach Wayne Bennett.
“Wayne doesn’t give away too much,” Parcell said. “I’ve just got to play really well in the Q Cup and make them pick me.
“After the weekend I’ve got a bit of stuff to work on. Like picking my times to run and making sure I’ve got some guys with me. But I feel really strong and fit.”
At 88kg Parcell is exactly the weight he wants to be and the ability to bench press 130kg is testament to his strength.
He may just be paying the price however, for breaking Broncos fitness records early in the pre-season.
“Individual fitness training is based what you’ve done in the past,” he said. “So next week your times are expected to be faster.”
Even being one of the fittest in the squad Parcell has found having to back up and give his all each day a test of his character.
But having come though the other side he has been able to find pleasure in the pain.
“Probably just the intensity of training,” he said of the biggest challenge in becoming a Bronco.
“But I feel mentally strong and like I can get through anything.”
“The toughest thing is the day in, day out training,” Matt Parcell said of the challenge of a pre-season with the Brisbane Broncos. “Especially going into Christmas and the two weeks after. There were some really tough sessions.”