Boyd open to Origin No.1 spot, but backs in Slater

Darius Boyd in action for the Broncos. Photo: Getty Images.
Darius Boyd in action for the Broncos. Photo: Getty Images.

Brisbane fullback Darius Boyd says he would jump at the chance to fill Billy Slater's Queensland No.1 Origin jumper if needed.

But the dual premiership winner says Greg Inglis would "be the man" should Slater's troublesome shoulder keep him out of the opening game of this year's series.

Boyd, whose 16 Origin tries in 23 games, mostly on the wing, is only bettered by Inglis (17 in 27 games), said he would be confident Slater, who pulled out of Melbourne Storm's big win over the Titans on Sunday, would be back playing before the June 1 Origin opener in Sydney.

"I think Greg has that sewn down," said Boyd when asked if he would fill the No.1 jersey for Queensland.

"It (Slater's injury) is not good, although I'm not too sure how bad it is.

"But Billy is the ultimate professional when it comes to his rehab and I'm sure he will be back in plenty of time for Origin.

"We've got a lot of quality young players coming through, Valentine Holmes and Cameron Munster in Billy's absence, so we're not short of depth."

"But if I was given the chance, I wouldn't say 'no'."

Unfortunately both Holmes and Munster are under an Origin ban for this season's series as punishment for breaking team curfew at a special camp in Brisbane earlier this year.

"We were all young once and we all make mistakes. They are under a ban but it's always up to the selectors," Boyd said.

"I'm sure they will learn from those mistakes."

Brisbane will be without towering winger Corey Oates (shoulder) for two to four weeks which opens the door again for Englishman Greg Eden or Lachlan Maranta, who is close to an injury comeback.

Meanwhile, Boyd believes Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco is more than ready to make his Origin debut.

"He's been playing great football for a couple of years now," said Boyd, who believed Queensland's ability to keep players in the same positions each year had given them a big edge over the Blues.

"Origin is such a different game to the NRL and selectors realise that when they pick players.

"Origin is played differently, it's refereed differently, it's just a different game and it requires different players.

"Players who excel in the NRL don't necessarily excel in Origin and vice versa. They may not be the best player in the NRL but they are tremendous in Origin because it is so different."

Boyd said Tedesco had all the skills, pace and other factors required to play Origin.

"He's definitely got all the attributes, but we're very lucky we've had the same 1-9-6-7 for so long, they fit so well together," he said.


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