Boyd's No.1 nod 'best selection' says Hunt
Broncos half Ben Hunt has praised the selection of Darius Boyd at fullback for Friday's Test in a Kangaroos team in a team he says Mal Meninga has got "spot on".
Although some have questioned Meninga's decision to stick with the tried and true in the face of three straight losses to the Kiwis, Hunt is adamant that the old guard deserve their places on form and not merely reputation.
Hunt played three Tests for the Kangaroos in the 2014 Four Nations tournament and while an ill-chosen night out in Emerging Origin camp in January may have cost him any further rep jerseys this year he was delighted to see Boyd handed the No.1 jersey.
Writing in the special Representative Round issue of Big League this week, Hunt highlights just what it is that makes his Broncos teammate such an outstanding fullback and why he is deserving of the crown as Australia's best No.1.
"I think Darius Boyd at fullback is the best selection in the side," Hunt says in Big League.
"Darius is the premier fullback in the competition at the moment both defensively and offensively and he brings a lot to what we do at the Broncos.
"He is second-to-none when he slots in as a ball player out the back on sweep plays. He knows when to run and when to pass.
"You look at a lot of fullbacks now and they either pass the ball straight away or take off and run, but Darius is a great decision-maker and does it better than anyone else.
"Moving Greg Inglis back to the centres is a smart move as well. He's done it in Origin for so many years and he always does a great job out there, so that's going to add another explosive element in attack."
As for the suggestion that Meninga and Kangaroos selectors should have looked more to the future for Friday's Test in Newcastle, Hunt believes it is too great a risk with such a limited preparation.
"They went with experience over some players who may be playing better footy at the moment, but with a one-off Test you need to have a lot of experience in your side," he says.
"The critics have suggested some of the older players should have made way for new blood. I can understand that, but one thing I would ask those critics is – who are you going to drop?
"You can't not pick Thurston or Cronk, you can't drop Cameron Smith, you can't drop Matt Scott or Paul Gallen and you can't drop Corey Parker.
"You can't keep those older guys out of the side because they are all playing great football at the moment and that alone gives them the right to be there.
"I think Mal and the selectors have picked a great side. It's going to be a tough team for the Kiwis to beat.
"I think they might even blow it open late and win by 16 or 18 points."
The Representative Round issue of Big League is on sale at newsagents and at each of the grounds hosting rep games this weekend. The digital version is also available through www.zinio.com.