Tweaking the Kangaroos’ game plan to suit new fullback Darius Boyd has paid big dividends heading into Saturday’s rugby league Four Nations final.
Boyd was magnificent in the 56-14 win against Wales on Sunday, repeatedly torching the defence with his pace, and coach Tim Sheens is confident he’ll cause plenty of problems for England at Elland Road.
The Wales game was Boyd’s first start at fullback, having shifted from the wing to take over the spot when Billy Slater suffered his broken collarbone in the previous match against England at Wembley.
“Darius was thrown in there a bit against England when Billy got hurt,” Sheens said.
“He did what he had to do but, against Wales, we set up our game plan around him during the week.
“This gave us an opportunity to get him into the game more and play a sort of style that suits him.
“He did the rest really well and I am very pleased to have someone of his calibre to call upon to replace Slater.”
Meanwhile, centre Willie Tonga is out of contention for the final after he again aggravated a pectoral problem in training on Saturday.
The Queensland centre is likely to return to Sydney to be treated by the medical staff at his new NRL club Parramatta.
Backrower Tony Williams is available again following his one-match suspension and Sheens expects Luke Lewis to have made a full recovery after missing the Wales game due to illness.
“There was a bit of a bug that went through the place and Lewis went down pretty bad with it,” he said.
“He hadn’t been eating and we didn’t want it to get any worse, particularly with the short turnaround.
“But he’s eating a lot better this morning so we expect him to be right.”