No one can question Darius Boyd’s loyalty to Wayne Bennett.
But retired great Justin Hodges fears his ideal candidate Boyd will decline if Bennett offers him the Brisbane captaincy in order to avoid favouritism claims.
Boyd has played his entire 10-year NRL career under Bennett.
He followed the master coach from Brisbane to the Dragons, over to Newcastle and back to the Broncos again.
When Bennett was announced as England coach, social media lit up with jokes that Kangaroos flyer Boyd would soon seek a UK passport in order to play under him at this year’s Four Nations.
And Hodges believes that fierce allegiance to Bennett will be the reason his choice for next Brisbane captain will not accept the honour.
“Darius should be the next captain. I think he deserves it,” ex-Brisbane skipper Hodges told AAP.
“But in my opinion he probably won’t do it.
“If he gets the job people might ask why did he get it, (was it) because of Wayne or favouritism.
“That question is always going to come up from people.
“But in my eyes he has earned the right.
“You need the respect from people you play with to be captain and he has got that.”
Hodges admired Boyd for the way he had turned his life around since seeking indefinite leave from the NRL in late 2014 to receive treatment for depression.
Boyd regrouped in time to return to Brisbane with Bennett in 2015.
Hodges believed Boyd was now ready to handle his next big challenge, the Broncos captaincy.
He just hoped Boyd believed he was ready too.
“He has overcome personal battles, won grand finals, played Tests,” Hodges said.
“And like great leaders he is a great listener.
“You need to interact with not only the first grade players but also the young ones and I saw him grow over the last year doing that.
“But to be a real leader you don’t have to worry about outside opinion.
“I think he is ready (to be captain) but a lot of outside voices might influence his decision.”
Bennett has already decided who will replace Hodges but won’t make it official until before next month’s NRL season kick-off.
“It’s up to him (Boyd) if he wants it,” Hodges said.
“But if you want short term you can always go with Cozza (Corey Parker) or Sammy (Sam Thaiday).”