Former Broncos captain Justin Hodges has pleaded for Darius Boyd to continue on, saying the current captain and league veteran should seek a move to the centres or the wing.
Hodges admitted that Boyd’s 2019 form wasn’t anything special, but he knows this young Broncos outfit will need Boyd’s experience next season, after veteran back-rower Matt Gillett officially retired.
There is an opportunity for Boyd to share the captaincy workload with re-signing back-rower Alex Glenn, and Hodges believes it should be considered.
“I know everyone is asking for him to be demoted as captain and retire but you still need that older head, you still need that experience – that’s what he brings,” Hodges told Fox Sports on Wednesday.
“He is the sort of guy you still need around the club. He has won premierships, he’s done everything in the game.
“Whether you put Alex Glenn as co-captain with him that’s another avenue for them to explore.
“But if you take Darius Boyd out of it there are not too many other older blokes there.
“Hopefully he stays and everyone gets behind him. He deserves to go out the right way, on his terms.”
In what was Boyd’s 14th season, he struggled to string some form together, and ultimately looked ineffective down at fullback before moving to five-eighth.
Many were quick to call for Boyd’s retirement, with some critics saying he was tarnishing his legacy by trying a new position.
The issues continued when Boyd failed to take the Broncos further into finals, as they were embarrassingly dismantled 58-0 in a record-breaking finals loss to Parramatta.
But Hodges is adamant that all Boyd needs to reignite his career is a switch to the wing or in the centres – where it all began when he first came into the league.
In his debut 2006 season, Boyd started on the wing and rotated through the centre position before quickly becoming one of the competitions elite fullbacks.
“Obviously he didn’t have the best year but you can’t put him down for one bad year – he’s had 13 other good seasons,” Hodges said.
“Moving from fullback to five-eighth disrupted him a little bit as well.
“For him I think he should got back to the centres or even the wing.
“He’s played a lot of wing for Queensland. He’s the second highest try scorer (in State of Origin) besides GI (Greg Inglis).
“I think he’s valuable in that position and with good ball he can come off and play in that fullback role where he can link up.
“But (next year) he just needs to come in relaxed and just play rugby league.”