Darius Boyd trained at fullback today in a sign the Broncos may consider shifting the 33-year-old to his best position as Anthony Milford battles a hamstring issue.
Usual five-eighth Milford, on $1m a season, has been slammed for his lacklustre efforts this season as Brisbane endures a horror losing streak and was moved from the halves to fullback for Friday’s 46-8 loss to Melbourne.
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The back spent time with the rehab group at Red Hill today and his hamstring was strapped.
Boyd trained at fullback in Milford’s absence, which suggests coach Anthony Seibold is at least thinking about him as an option in the No. 1 jersey.
Darius Boyd training at fullback for Brisbane with Anthony Milford in rehab group. He is battling hamstring problems.
The veteran has played most of his career at wing and fullback but was shunted to left centre this season where his poor defensive reads have been exposed. Regarded as one of the league’s best defensive fullbacks in his prime — a position he played for Queensland and Australia — NRL pundits have long been calling for Seibold to put Boyd at the back.
Broncos legend and director Darren Lockyer said on the Sunday Footy Show a lack of other options at left centre convinced Seibold that was the best way to use Boyd in 2020, and the under-siege coach has already experimented with other fullbacks this year including Milford, Jamayne Isaako and Tesi Niu.
Rugby league legend Billy Slater told Nine on Sunday if he was in charge, he would move Boyd to fullback.
“The Broncos need stability and you get that from your fullback, especially defensively,” Slater said.
“Darius, firstly, perfected the role. He’s a great defensive fullback, he’s played for his country, his state, he’s won two grand finals at fullback.
“But when you take that position off Darius, and then you take the captaincy off him, you nearly break his football soul.
“Darius has been a fraction of himself this year. And you take all those positions off him and they just lack a bit of leadership. I would definitely go Darius at fullback.”
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Boyd is trying his best but he’s not a natural centre.Source:Getty Images
After the Broncos’ shocking 48-0 loss to Wests Tigers two games ago, Sharks premiership-winner Paul Gallen led the chorus calling for Boyd to return to his best position.
“The first thing I’d do is put Darius Boyd back to fullback,” Gallen said on Nine’s 100% Footy.
“It sounds funny but fullback’s your first line of defence. When you’re a middle forward and you run back (in defence), you look at the fullback to tell you where to go. He tells you where to go.
“Darius Boyd’s sitting out in the centres doing absolutely nothing for this team at all. He’s the most senior play in that side, surely he’s got to be moved back to fullback.
“And that’s got to be a coach’s decision, doesn’t it? Surely.”
“I just can’t believe Darius Boyd is not at fullback. From a coaching point of view, I can’t believe he’s not at fullback.”
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