Boyd calls time on Broncos fullback career

Darius Boyd concedes his days as a fullback are over, with the Broncos captain committed to finishing his decorated NRL career in the unfamiliar No.6 jumper.

Boyd, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Wednesday, will chalk up another milestone when he equals Broncos legend Petero Civoniceva with his 309th NRL game in Brisbane's clash against Canterbury at Suncorp Stadium.

It took 306 career games for Boyd to be shifted to five-eighth, but after 13 years as a winger or fullback who dabbled in the odd game at centre, the skipper is content in the Broncos No.6 jumper made famous by Wally Lewis.

When Boyd returned to the Broncos under Wayne Bennett in 2015, he was considered such a selection untouchable in the backfield - his official Broncos backpack even has the number "1" emblazoned on it.

But the former Queensland Origin ace could be due for a new training kit next season, with Boyd admitting he is unlikely to again wear the No.1 jumper in which he won the Clive Churchill Medal for the Dragons in the 2010 grand final.

Asked if his days at fullback were over, Boyd said: "I suppose, yes.

"'Seibs' (Broncos coach Anthony Seibold) wants to keep this (positional switch) moving forward and I don't look at it in a negative way.

"It is a cool challenge for me to be honest.

"I have played 300 games, mostly at fullback with a bit of wing and centre. I had never played five-eighth before in the NRL, except in a trial game.

"I thought my game was good (against the Warriors last Saturday night) and I think I can build on that."

 

The Milford-Boyd switch looks set to stay.
The Milford-Boyd switch looks set to stay.

 

His cohort in the "Big Broncos Switch", Anthony Milford, plays his third game at fullback against the Bulldogs and Boyd believes Brisbane's $1 million man can play for Queensland and Australia in the No.1 jumper.

"Milf has done some amazing things as a five-eighth but he has only played fullback twice this year and in both games he has been strong," Boyd said.

"We ask him to do a lot because he is returning kicks and putting kicks in general play as well.

"He is only going to get better and has all the ability to play fullback at rep level too if Kevvie (Walters, Queensland coach) and Mal (Meninga, Australia coach) think he is best for the job."

 

Will Boyd finish career at No.6? Picture: AAP
Will Boyd finish career at No.6? Picture: AAP

 

Boyd's last-line defence has been savaged this season but he put his body on the line against the Warriors.

He made a career-high 30 tackles, including a trysaver on flying 108kg back-rower Isaiah Papali'i, and missed just one, evidence he has the size at 96kg and bravery to handle frontline duties.

"I have always liked defence and backed my defensive ability," he said.

"I know there has been a bit of criticism around that of me personally this year but it's not through a lack of effort.

"There were different situations in games where I know the reasons why (he missed tackles) and I have looked over some tapes as to why I made those misses or wrong reads.

"Defending is one of my strong suits, so I think I can build on that performance.

"There are no excuses from the Newcastle game but I did get shifted around a bit (also moving to centre).

"I wanted to get involved early (against the Warriors), defend well and do my role for the team and I thought it worked well."

News Corp Australia


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