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Titans prop Shannon Boyd.

He used the Band-Aid analogy, and Titans prop Shannon Boyd knows facing former Canberra teammates in round one won't be without some pain.

For the second consecutive year the Gold Coast will open their season at home against the Raiders on Sunday, giving new recruit Boyd a first-up assignment for his new team against the side with whom he has played all of his 111 NRL games.

In a 23-minute stint in Gold Coast's final trial against the Broncos, he displayed the type of forward thrust you would expect of someone weighing in excess of 120kg but knows he won't have it all his own way in his Titans debut.

Boyd was part of a "Green Machine" engine room that obliterated the Titans in the opening exchanges 12 months ago and knows there are a couple of Raiders in particular who roam the centre of the field who are best avoided.

"Steer clear of Sia and Papa. They've got pretty heavy shoulders," Boyd told of former teammates Sia Soliola and Josh Papalii.

"It will feel different playing against the boys having been there for so long but it will be a bit of fun too. There'll be a few blokes coming for me but it will good.

"It will probably be one of the tougher games but it will be good to go out there and play against them and try and get into a few of the boys. May as well rip the Band-Aid off in round one."

Soward's Say: 2019 Gold Coast Titans

Watching the Raiders' big men run roughshod over his middle forwards was not how Titans coach Garth Brennan hoped to start his NRL coaching career.

Even though the Titans staged a dramatic comeback to win that game, he didn't leave Cbus Super Stadium that night convinced Boyd was the player he should pursue to fix any deficiencies in the middle. However, he reached exactly that conclusion as the season progressed.

"I just thought we lacked a bit of size and presence and punch in our pack last year," Brennan explained.

"We've got some guys that can play off the back of a quick play-the-ball so I just saw it as an area we needed to improve on and Shannon gives us that."

He's also a welcome addition for workhorses such as Jarrod Wallace, Jai Arrow and Ryan James who can carry forward the momentum created by the 26-year-old Kangaroos representative.

"It's always handy having a big bopper like that taking that first carry and bending the line," Wallace said.

"It makes it a lot easier for guys like me taking the second or third one.

"He came straight in and fit like a glove. He's a big, country boy so he's not shy. He came in and started throwing his weight around straight away."

The irony of his match-up against the Raiders this week is Boyd would be back on the family farm in Cowra in the Central West of NSW if not for Canberra coach Ricky Stuart.

When Stuart began as head coach in 2014 Boyd was a man mountain who had stagnated since graduating from the under 20s.

Some home truths and a challenge laid down by Stuart in the pre-season paved the way for Boyd to make his debut in round one and put farm-life on hold.

"Dad's always said to me that the farm is there for later on. It's not going anywhere," Boyd said.

"Sometimes you look back and think that it was pretty crazy that I was literally about to leave.

"If there was one more year under the same staff I wouldn't have been there. I would have finished up.

"I was at a point in my career when I was sour on the whole football thing. I was ready to move back to the farm and do that sort of stuff.

"It helped me to get my career started. A bit of tough love from Ricky went a long way."

Less than three years later Boyd was selected by another Raiders legend – Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga – to represent Australia in four Tests at the end of the 2016.

He has been unable to force his way back into the national team in the two years since but hopes another change will help to reinvigorate his representative career.

"I feel a lot better. Mentally fresher which is what I needed," Boyd said of the move to the Gold Coast.

"Playing for Australia was good for my confidence and not being picked the last two years has made me hungry to get back there."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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