The Courier-Mail

Skipper puts his faith in Boyd to lead

- CHRIS GARRY

JUSTIN Hodges has anointed Darius Boyd as the man to replace him as Brisbane Broncos captain.

Hodges told The CourierMai­l that Boyd was his ideal captain for the next “five or six years”, a move also backed by Darren Lockyer.

Hodges said he was still amazed at Boyd’s transforma­tion since he returned to Brisbane this year and said the former media-shy fullback had become a true leader.

Hodges pointed out that Sam Thaiday or Corey Parker were also worthy captaincy options but if the Broncos wanted to appoint a long-term leader Boyd (pictured) was the man.

“Darius is the right man to lead for the next five or six years,” Hodges said.

“I have given it a little thought and if Wayne wants to go with experience then there is Cozza and Sam.

“However, Darius is my dark horse for it. To see where he’s come from and what he has become is inspiring. If they need a guy who takes them forward for five or six years then Darius is the guy.”

Boyd has travelled a similar path to Hodges.

Both were misunderst­ood players who often made headlines for the wrong reasons, but in recent years have altered their off and on-field images.

Hodges admitted part of his decision to retire was made knowing the club had ample talent ready to replace him.

Jordan Kahu is his natural replacemen­t at right centre and the club will announce his contract extension soon.

They also have Dale Copley waiting. He has struggled this year but just 12 months ago was close to an Origin callup.

Hodges said the last thing he wanted to do was stop the progress of talented young players at the club.

“I don’t want to stand in their way,” he said.

“I have had a great run. I would love to still be involved in the club. It is a club I love and would do anything for.”

That involvemen­t will be a role as backs coach next season and working with indigenous youth as part of Brisbane’s Deadly Choices program.

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