Boyd: I'm never leaving Broncos again
The Broncos have churned through four different captains in the space of five years which is why Darius Boyd's pledge to never leave the club again will have been music to the ears of the only NRL coach he has ever played for, Wayne Bennett.
Boyd was unveiled as the captain of the Broncos for the 2017 season after being given 12 months to come to terms with the position, was overcome with emotion and the enormity of his achievement when the first question was asked of the new Broncos skipper.
It prompted Bennett to interject and tell just part of Boyd's rugby league journey, fitting for a man who took the now 29-year-old with him to St George Illawarra in 2009 when he'd been told there was no future for him at the club after the 2008 season.
After three years at the Dragons the pair joined the Knights but Boyd failed to finish his third season in Newcastle, another awkward media interaction after Game Three of the 2014 Origin Series prompting him to step away and seek professional help.
For a kid who began supporting the Broncos from the age of six to be seated alongside Bennett and Broncos CEO Paul White marked an incredible transformation from the introverted 18-year-old who dropped two high balls in his first trial game and made Bennett wonder whether the great Cyril Connell had lost his Midas touch.
When Connell tipped Bennett into the Palm Beach Currumbin product who did Year 12 twice in order to attract the interest of an NRL club – any NRL club – he said he would take time to develop.
Connell was referring to his abilities on the field but it is his development as a person since checking himself into a mental health clinic in the Hunter Valley that has allowed him to find happiness and grow into a genuine leader at the club.
Sam Thaiday, Justin Hodges and Corey Parker have each held one of the most respected posts in rugby league since 2013 but despite his current contract running out at the end of this season Boyd signalled his intention to be a long-serving captain at the club.
"No I don't want to. Definitely not," Boyd said when asked whether he would leave the club again.
"My family's here, my wife's here and her family, we're building a house, we've got everything here.
"I want to stay here, I want to grow old here and watch the Broncos have a great future."
When Bennett took the helm as coach of the Broncos in their inaugural season in 1988 the position of Broncos captain was never intended to resemble that of a revolving door and the master coach believes Boyd is capable of captaining the club well into his 30s.
"He looks after himself remarkably well, he's a 10 out of 10," Bennett said. "He's that close to Darren Lockyer in many things that he does... He's a 10 out of 10 in how he prepares himself so maybe [he could play] another five or six years.
"You don't need new captains every year I can tell you that. I was the original coach here and I wanted the captaincy to always be an honour at this club.
"I'd been at clubs where a guy would have it for six months and it would be a bit like a politician, you just get a new one in to lead the team. I never wanted that for this club and it hasn't been that way but it's been a set of circumstances the last couple of years have found us with three different captains in three years.
"That's going to stop now. He's the captain until he retires."