Brisbane Broncos can cover for Darius Boyd

HOW ironic was it that on the same morning Darius Boyd ruptured his Achilles tendon, Darren Lockyer had earlier sung the praises of Brisbane discard Ben Barba.

If the Broncos' recruitment hierarchy is now thinking "if only" in respect of Barba and fellow reject Josh Hoffman, it's a dead-set given no one at Red Hill will admit it.

The loss of Boyd - earmarked months ago as the Broncos fullback for the remainder of his career - is a savage blow. And it is a savage blow not just to the Broncos but to Boyd, who has been cautiously traversing the road to recovery from a series of personal issues.

That Boyd may not play again in season 2015 emphasises that none of us can be adequately prepared for what is around the corner.

And as much as the Broncos will miss what he was about to bring to the team, this upheaval will be survived.

The Broncos have players to cover for the loss of their gun fullback, the man who was to be the vital link in the four-man spine that coach Wayne Bennett had so judiciously assembled in such a short time. The replacements won't be as exhilarating as Boyd, but they will get the job done.

Standing in line are Justin Hodges, albeit reluctantly, as well as Jordan Kahu, Lachlan Maranta, Englishman Greg Eden and last season's NYC fullback, Kodi Nikorima. And the wily old coach probably has another ace somewhere up his sleeve that he might reveal as the season gets closer.

While most angst was sensed among members of the Broncos family, being within earshot of Barba and Hoffman when they heard the news might have been an interesting exercise.

No doubt they would have felt for their fellow NRL player because both have suffered serious injuries themselves, but they too might have been thinking "if only".

That is now water under the bridge. What has been done is done, and surgery tomorrow will dictate when in season 2015, if at all, Boyd returns.

And it will be that journey, and not so much finding his replacement, that has to be handled most carefully and dutifully by the Broncos. Boyd could bounce out the other side a better man and a better player, or he might again become a lost soul.

Many hours over the next 180 or so days will be spent in rehab, with him receiving expert guidance and care. Other hours may be very dark, or they could be a life-changing positive.

Caring for an aged grandmother, getting to know his newly acquainted mother and finally meeting his dad are among a list of objectives he might just set himself as he fights his way back to fitness.

In light of the unceremonious dumping of Barba and Hoffman, some of the Broncos' adversaries may see this injury as karma. But maybe it was merely a sign that Darius Boyd needed more time to put his troubled personal life back on the straight and narrow.



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