Baby Boyd could be Brisbane’s new Alf
THE Broncos have unearthed the next Allan Langer with blond bombshell Tanah Boyd putting pressure on Kodi Nikorima for the Brisbane No. 7 jumper.
Queensland Origin coach Kevin Walters forged a formidable scrumbase partnership with Broncos halfback Langer and declared Boyd had a huge future at Red Hill.
Still just 18, Boyd has been promoted to Brisbane's full-time NRL squad, putting him within striking distance of Nikorima and the coveted Broncos No. 7 jumper made famous by 'Alfie' Langer.
The classy Australian Schoolboys young gun has been hailed the best playmaker to come through the Queensland junior ranks in almost 20 years.
While Boyd has a long way to go to emulate the feats of Langer, the physical parallels are eerie.
There is the blond hair, the pint-sized physique, the crafty attacking game and the quiet self-belief that has seen Boyd slot in seamlessly alongside Brisbane's big names as he learns plays in pre-season training.
"Tanah was in our Queensland under-18s team this year - he has a massive future," said Walters, whose alliance with Langer steered the Broncos to four premierships.
"It's only early days for him but there's no doubt he has some ability and it's great to see him in the Broncos squad, halves like Anthony Milford and Kodi (Nikorima) will only help his development.
"If he's got any of Alf's footy DNA, he will be a godsend for the Broncos.
"Alf was a genius on the field and the great thing is he is still at the club, so he can be a mentor to Tanah."
A product of Keebra Park High, Boyd is more sizeable than Langer, standing 178cm and weighing 84kg.
But in age where NRL athletes are getting bigger and stronger, Boyd will need his speed, skill and smarts to kick on and challenge Nikorima for the Broncos' halfback spot.
His genes are promising. Boyd's father Shayne was a lower-grader at the Penrith Panthers and his mother Kim was a Crossfit champion.
Boyd, who made his Intrust Super Cup debut this year with Souths Logan, has also represented Queensland at under-16s and under-18s levels.
"I've been in talent ID for 16 years and he is the best player I have signed," said his manager Tas Bartlett.
"People say he's just like Alfie Langer with the blond hair and the build, but the big thing is that he can also defend for a small bloke.
"Comparing him to halves like Ashley Taylor (Titans) and Brodie Croft (Melbourne), I believe Tanah was miles ahead of them at the same age.
"The challenge for him is to realise his potential in the NRL, but I haven't seen many 18 years old with his level of talent.
"He is the complete package as a footballer."
Boyd told The Courier-Mail last year that he hopes to emulate his idol, Cowboys champion Johnathan Thurston.
"I love JT … I want to play like him," Boyd said.
"Playing for the Broncos has been a dream of mine since I was little. I've always gone for the Broncos. I'm on the right path. I've just got to keep working hard and stay at it."