Boyd sticking with father-like coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Boyd sticking with father-like coach

By Wayne Heming and Ian McCullough 10/06/2011 06:34:17 PM Comments (0)

The chance to share a piece of rugby league history with the man he credits with making him a better person and player influenced Darius Boyd's decision to leave St George Illawarra and join Newcastle.

As expected, Boyd will follow Wayne Bennett, who he's referred to as a father-like figure ever since his arrival at Brisbane as a troubled youngster in 2005, to the Knights on a four-year deal.

The two-time premiership-winning fullback will follow seven-time premiership-winning coach Bennett in chasing history as only the second player after NSW great Glenn Lazarus (Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne) to win three titles at as many clubs.

If Bennett, who guided the joint-venture to a first premiership last year, can deliver for the Knights, he'll add to his legend as the first coach to win titles at three different clubs, having won six with the Broncos before last year's triumph with the Dragons.

"Obviously I wouldn't be going there without Wayne but in the end it was my own decision," said Boyd on Friday.

"It was a tough decision because the Dragons have been great and I've been missing home (Brisbane) as well."

Bennett, who took Boyd with him to the Dragons after Brisbane failed to offer him a contract for 2009, left the decision up to the 23-year-old who admitted he found deciding his future a tough call.

"I started to think about home and missing home and how good the Dragons had been to me and it wasn't an easy choice in the end," he said.

"The Dragons and the fans have been unreal and I obviously want to finish the season off with them but next year will be a new challenge."

Newcastle skipper Kurt Gidley said he would be more than happy to move from fullback to accommodate Boyd.

Gidley, who has played most of his career with the Knights in the No.1 shirt, is currently playing halfback due to a pectoral injury to Jarrod Mullen, but has also filled in at hooker and five-eighth both for NSW and for his club.

"I think Darius will be a great signing for us, he can play on the wing and at fullback and is one of the best players in the NRL at the moment and I am really happy to see him come to Newcastle," Gidley said on Friday.

The 29-year-old said winning games regularly was more important than what position he takes on the field.

"Right from when I started playing first grade, as long as I was in the team, playing good footy and winning games, that was my priority," Gidley said.

"Whether, I am fullback, half, hooker it doesn't matter, as long as I am enjoying myself, I am happy to play, wherever the team needs me."

Boyd said he was pleased to learn of Gidley's comments.

"I've played a couple of games with Gids and been on tours with him and he's a great bloke like that and he's been a great player for a lot of years with Newcastle," he said.

"I definitely prefer to play fullback but that's up to Wayne and, even at the Dragons, I've been getting into the second pivot role with Sowie (Jamie Soward) so I'm sure I could do a bit of that too."

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