Boyd admits he’s not ready for Origin
DARIUS Boyd is fighting to save his Queensland career with the Maroons stalwart conceding he is unlikely to be selected for Origin I based on his form for the Broncos.
But the Broncos skipper is refusing to give up hope and has vowed to press his claims for a Queensland recall - starting against the Bulldogs on Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.
A veteran of 28 Origin matches, Boyd missed last year's decider due to a broken hand, consigned to passenger status as wing sensation Valentine Holmes crossed for a series-winning hat-trick at Suncorp Stadium.
Boyd's Origin prospects were not aided by a hamstring complaint that affected his confidence in the opening month, but the 30-year-old hopes his past performances count at the Queensland selection table.
"Look, on form at the moment, I probably wouldn't be there," said Boyd, who threw his support behind a new Origin campaign urging NSW and Queensland fans to give blood to save lives.
"I think I have done the job in the past and I'm proud of that. I've never let the Queensland jersey down. It doesn't bother me why I'm picked, I just want to be there.
"I have been in the side for 10 years and I don't want to give the jersey up, but if I have to give it up, I understand.
"At the end of the day, I'll understand both sides. It comes down to 'Kevvie' (coach Kevin Walters) and the selectors.
"I'd love to be there but if I'm not, I'm not going to kick up a stink either."
Just a year ago, Boyd was Queensland's No.1 in the series opener, only to be shifted to centre for Game Two to accommodate the return of Billy Slater.
If fit, Slater will start at fullback this year, with Walters likely to retain Holmes and Dane Gagai on the flanks with Greg Inglis, returning from a knee injury, to partner Will Chambers in the centres.
Boyd concedes Queensland's embarrassment of backline riches could leave him on the outer.
"There's a lot of competition for spots," he said.
"I haven't seen that depth since my time in the team. There's also Kalyn Ponga who will be hard to keep out of the team in the coming years.
"Whether I fit in there or not, I'm not too sure, but I'll definitely be putting my hand.
"Wherever I am named, I am happy to play."
Boyd, meanwhile, backed Broncos teammate Andrew McCullough to make a shock return from an elbow injury against the Bulldogs.
The tough-as-nails hooker was expected to miss a month but was on Tuesday named by coach Wayne Bennett after missing just one match - last week's 24-20 defeat of Souths.
"He's a special character Macca," Boyd said.
"He never leaves any stone unturned. He has a habit of coming back from injuries early.
"He is the ultimate professional and it's a credit to him that he's ahead of schedule. He always goes above and beyond to get back from injury."