Boyd shocked by Kangaroos call-up
It wasn't that long ago when Ricky Stuart said his Canberra Raiders side wouldn't be successful until they had representative players on their books.
As Josh Papalii (Kangaroos), Josh Hodgson, Elliott Whitehead (England), Joe Tapine and Jordan Rapana (New Zealand) kick started their Four Nations preparations at Raiders HQ on Monday, little did they know they'd be joined by a sixth teammate on tour.
Stuart's wishes were fulfilled further when it emerged 24-year-old prop Shannon Boyd was a shock inclusion in Mal Meninga's Kangaroos squad.
"Hodgo (Hodgson) has already started a bit of banter and Elliott too. Typical Poms, they're already bloody stirring the pot," Boyd laughed.
With just 67 NRL games to his name, Boyd defied Meninga's claims earlier in the year that he wouldn't pick players unless they had made their State of Origin debuts.
While Boyd was named in the Kangaroos' extended train-on squad, he never envisioned he'd be off to the United Kingdom to potentially play alongside veterans Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
So much so he was back home shearing sheep and putting up fences on the family farm in Cowra.
Pleased to have just been named in the initial train-on squad, Boyd said his parents never lost faith and were quietly anticipating he'd make the final squad of 24 players.
With Aaron Woods and Josh Mansour unavailable for the Kangaroos' Four Nations warm-up game in Perth due to their respective weddings, Boyd could very well make his Test debut before the tournament even begins.
"I was driving around the paddock with my brother when my mum rang me and told me I made the Four Nations squad. She saw it on the TV," Boyd told NRL.com.
"I was immediately nervous more than anything. I knew I didn't know too many people in the squad, how there's a couple of big games to come and that it was such a big deal.
"But as it started to sink in, I was very happy."
The furthest Boyd has travelled overseas is to New Zealand to play the Warriors and had no plans to change that over the off-season.
"I wasn't expecting this at all," Boyd said.
"It was a pretty big shock. I hadn't talked to anyone from the Kangaroos setup at any point throughout the year so that's why it came as such a surprise.
"There was no hint about me making the squad so to be chosen now is so good."