Darius Boyd expects Tevita Pangai jnr to join the game's truly elite forwards in due time, but won't pressure him to do so at Red Hill as he helps the rising Broncos star weigh up his contract options.
Pangai will take the field against St George Illawarra on Sunday managing a hamstring/groin issue that required a painkilling injection this week, but it hasn't slowed his rise as one of the NRL's most damaging and in-demand big men.
He met Newcastle's Nathan Brown last week and is the Knights' No.1 recruitment target, while the Roosters are also understood to have expressed interest in luring him south of the border.
The 22-year-old has repeatedly declared he won't be leaving Brisbane next year but won’t confirm his future until November when his ties to his current management expire.
In the meantime, he and Boyd have talked through one of the brightest futures in the Telstra Premiership, discussing Pangai's options after his trip to Newcastle.
While the Broncos remain confident Pangai will stay, Boyd told NRL.com he was not in the youngster's ear to keep him at the club.
"I would never try to sway anyone into a decision. But I've spoken to Tevita, we're pretty close in that way - as far as rugby league and the experiences around different clubs," the Broncos captain said.
"I've got experience there, I've been to different clubs, I know what it's like to leave the Broncos as a club and have been to other clubs and seen what they have to offer.
"He's spoken to me and I've shared a bit with him on that, but at the end of the day I won't try to sway him - that's his choice.
"It just popped up a couple of days ago, we talked about that contract process and what not, I gave him a few tips, what I liked and didn't like about it and I think he'll go from there.
"I'm sure he'll make the best decision for himself and his family."
Boyd himself re-committed to the Broncos until the end of 2021 last year, and will finish his career at the club regardless of whether Wayne Bennett moves elsewhere after 2019.
Like Boyd, who followed Bennett to the Dragons, Knights and back to Brisbane each time the supercoach hit the road, Pangai shares a particularly special bond with the 68-year-old.
He cold-called Bennett as a 20-year-old while he was at Canberra, telling him he wanted to be coached by him before flying to Brisbane to ink the deal in an airport lounge.
Uncertainty over Bennett's future could in turn cloud Pangai's, but the boom youngster has shown no signs of being distracted by contracts or hype, with Broncos greats Darren Lockyer and Gorden Tallis both declaring this year that they rate the Tongan tearaway in the same mould as Dally M Medallist Jason Taumalolo.
"Everyone's different when it comes to contract stuff," Boyd said.
"But he's got a strong head on his shoulders and he's a quality player. He knows the game and he's a bright kid so I don't see it being a problem but you'd have to ask him.
"I genuinely believe he can be one of the best forwards in the game."
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