Thaiday backed by Boyd to 'hook in' as Broncos No.9
It is unknown how many minutes he will play there but Brisbane Broncos captain Darius Boyd has backed Sam Thaiday to do the job at dummy-half in the NRL season opener against the St George/Illawarra Dragons.
Thaiday played hooker in the trial against the PNG Hunters recently and filled in last year in the Telstra Premiership for the Broncos when Andrew McCullough was injured.
The 32-year-old veteran trained at dummy-half with the Broncos on Monday morning and is expected to be named to start at hooker with McCullough, in his first game back from an ACL injury, coming off the bench at Kogarah on Thursday night.
"Sammy played a little bit there last year and is an experienced guy. You could put Sammy in anywhere, apart from the backs probably, and he'd do a great job," Boyd said.
"That is a credit to him that he put his hand up to play there.
"It is obviously not his favoured position, and probably not his best, but he'll do a job there for us and Macca will come on after that.
"[Thaiday] had his hand up last year and did a good role when Macca was injured and he is just a team guy, Sammy.
"Everyone loves him and everybody knows what Sammy is all about. In his last year he's putting his hand again up for the team and it means a lot."
Broncos lock Josh McGuire, who has played hooker at international level for Samoa, said the team had faith in Thaiday's credentials to do the job for as long as he was required.
"He's ready to go and he'll definitely give us a bit more strength in the middle with his defence," McGuire said.
"We are expecting McCullough to play plenty of minutes but Sammy will take the sting out of it.
"It is a hard position and Macca is one of the fittest players in our team and you have to be fit to play there, but the good thing about Sammy is that he has played 300 games and knows how to get around the football paddock."
The Broncos are expected to name boom 21-year-old Jamayne Isaako on the right wing with Corey Oates to stay on the left wing, despite his desire to move into the back-row this year.
"It is hard for Oatesy," Boyd said.
"He trialled really well in the back-row as well but went and played about 10 minutes of wing and scored a couple of tries.
"He probably is our best winger and starts off the sets really well but I'm sure if there is an injury in the forwards then he'll be putting his hand up."
Boyd said he was feeling strong and had faith his hamstring was up to the rigours of playing fullback in the NRL.
"I've had three good days of training the last six days and doing a bit less in the gym which has freshened me up, so I'm really looking forward to the game," he said.
"I don't think it is an ongoing problem. I hope it's not, but the last six weeks after I had a little strain in January it has been really good and strong.
"There are always going to be mental demons but it is something after a couple of games I'll probably get over. I do feel really confident."
The ABC's 7.30 Report has a story on the Matt Lodge saga on Monday night and Boyd was asked a question by one of their reporters about how the victims of his 2015 New York rampage had allegedly not received the apology Lodge has made. Boyd was asked whether a public apology would go a long way towards resolving the situation.
"I can't comment on that," Boyd said.
"That is something that happened a couple of years ago and all I can speak of is how Lodgey has been at the club the past 18 months. He has been nothing but a respectful, humble guy and working hard. He goes to uni and… he has been nothing but a great bloke here."
Boyd was then asked where it was concerning "having this hanging over you before this week's season opener".
"It is something you would have to ask Matt. At the end of the day we are here to play rugby league and we can't focus on things we have no control of. The past is the past," he said.