Grieving Boyd set for Broncos return

Darius Boyd during a Brisbane Broncos training session at Red Hill.
Darius Boyd during a Brisbane Broncos training session at Red Hill. DARREN ENGLAND

DARIUS Boyd will return to lead the Broncos in Friday's preliminary final with the Storm.

And he will have the extra incentive of playing for his dearly departed grandmother, Delphine.

After missing training on Monday, the Brisbane skipper was back at Red Hill on Tuesday as the Broncos ramped up their preparations for the clash at AAMI Park.

Veteran teammate Sam Thaiday said the club would rally behind him.

"It's a tough time for Darius. All of us will gather around him the next couple of days," he said.

"It's very hard when you don't have a lot of family but this is a big part of his family, this Broncos team."

Delphine passed away on Sunday, with Boyd's wife Kayla sharing a tribute on social media.

"Rest in Peace Nana Boyd," she wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Boyd with his grandmother and his one-year-old daughter, Willow.

Delphine had been unwell in recent years, as she battled dementia.

As Boyd revealed earlier this year, Delphine was a great support to him growing up.

She and her late husband Herbie adopted his mother, Rochelle, when she was just a baby.

But when Rochelle was institutionalised with mental health issues when Boyd was 15, he went to live with Delphine on the Gold Coast and has remained close over the years, previously calling her his "No.1 support".

Delphine even had a room in her house that was dedicated to Boyd, filled with his playing jerseys and trophies.

Thaiday said he expected Boyd to be at his best against the Storm after missing the past two games with a hamstring strain.

"He will be there for sure," he said.

"He has been sitting back the last couple of weeks itching to get back on the field.

"I know he will be giving everything come Friday night."

Apart from Boyd, Thaiday and Jai Arrow (both concussion) and bench forward Tevita Pangai (hamstring) are also set to return to action.

A big question mark, however, remains over Corey Oates after he suffered a head knock in the semi-final win over the Panthers.

The Broncos are not expected to make a call on the winger until Thursday's captain's run.

"We will see with Corey. He is still doing some modified training. It's something you don't want to rush," Thaiday said.

"Something as severe as (the knock) Corey (suffered) was pretty sickening to see."

The Broncos are desperate to play the big-game star. Oates scored his eighth try in six finals games before his match ended abruptly when colliding with teammate Anthony Milford against the Panthers.

Topics:  brisbane broncos darius boyd nrl finals sam thaiday

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