Forget this year’s State of Origin series, Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett can’t believe Darius Boyd hasn’t already played fullback for Queensland.
With Billy Slater’s shoulder injury ruling him out of this year’s campaign for the Maroons, the debate is on as to who will fill the side’s No.1 jersey.
Greg Inglis remains the frontrunner, having done the job in the past in Slater’s absence during Queensland’s era of dominance over New South Wales.
Bennett, however, doesn’t understand why Boyd – a premiership-winning fullback – hasn’t been given a run in the position by the Maroons.
“If he’s not being talked up, don’t look at me,” Bennett said.
“He should have played fullback before for Queensland when the chance has come up.
“Queensland are stronger with Inglis in the centres and Boyd at fullback, rather than Inglis at fullback and Boyd on the wing.”
Boyd has played all 23 of his Origin matches on the wing.
But the 28-year-old is one of the best No.1’s in the NRL, recovering from a serious Achilles injury last year to help guide the Broncos to last year’s grand final.
He has started 2016 strongly, putting in another quality display in Friday’s 24-16 victory over near neighbours Gold Coast.
Boyd made 16 runs for 159 metres, setting up one try and also making two tackle busts against the Titans.
However, Broncos captain and Maroons teammate Corey Parker says it’s Boyd’s reading of the game that is his biggest asset as a fullback.
“His work off the ball probably goes a little bit unnoticed,” Parker said.
“Certainly from our point of view, that’s where he’s really good.
“Whether it’s in defence or attack, his ability to direct play or put players in positions they need to go before they think they need to get there – Billy Slater and the good ones, they’re all good like that.”