Boyd Ready To Be Maroons No.1
Brisbane Broncos fullback Darius Boyd has put his hand up to play fullback for the Queensland Maroons amid calls for the 28-year-old to replace injured Melbourne Storm star Billy Slater at the back.
Boyd's stellar start to the season continued on Friday night, named man of the match in Brisbane's 24-16 win over the Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadium.
His performance prompted Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett to suggest Queensland would be best off if they picked Boyd at fullback and Greg Inglis at centre, rather than Inglis at fullback and Boyd on the wing – a formula that has proven to be successful in past series.
Bennett boldly declared Boyd the best fullback in Queensland and the Australian international said he would be happy to takeover the role from Slater if Maroons coach Kevin Walters decides to go that way.
"I wouldn't say no, that's for sure. [But] I think 'GI' has the mortgage on that position with the way he played last year," Boyd said.
"His size and his dominance bringing the ball back is key, especially in Origin.
"If I was to be given the job then I would be happy to take it and I'd be very proud. I'm a harsh critic of myself. If I were selecting then I would say my form doesn't warrant selection at fullback because I think I can do a lot more.
"It's only early in the season and there's still a while until Origin so I would like to play better as it approaches. That will give me some confidence going into Origin if I get picked."
First and foremost on Boyd's mind is next month's ANZAC Test match to be held at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle.
Boyd hasn't donned the green and gold since the 2014 ANZAC Test match, playing on the wing in Australia's 30-18 win over New Zealand.
He said he would love to be recalled into the Australian side in what will be Mal Meninga's first game in charge of the Kangaroos.
"I'd love to play in next month's ANZAC Test because I haven't played at that level in two years," he said.
"I suppose I probably got picked on reputation when I was at Newcastle so I would love to be back on the international stage.
"I'd love to wear the green and gold again but there are a few more games to go so hopefully I can impress and get picked."
It would be quite an achievement for Boyd to make it back to the international level after a turbulent past two years.
A humble Boyd said he was happy to earn his place in the Australian side, something he feels he didn't have to do when he played at Newcastle.
"I feel like my form wasn't at its best in Newcastle. I was in and out of games. Some games I'd play well and others I wouldn't be at my best," he said.
"I'd done the job before for Queensland and Australia and that resulted in me getting picked at the time. There were probably guys out there that deserved it more.
"In saying that, I've always done my job and been safe at the representative level. I'm happy with the way I played at the representative level, but I've been out for two years now so I need to earn my spot back."
This article first appeared on NRL.com.