Queensland coach Kevin Walters admits moving Darius Boyd to centres a risk

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    Under fire Queensland coach Kevin Walters admits it is a risk to throw Darius Boyd into the centres opposite NSW star Josh Dugan in Wednesday night’s State of Origin II two in Sydney.

    Test fullback Boyd was expected to move to the left wing, where he had played 24 of his 27 Origins after veteran Billy Slater reclaimed his Maroons No.1 jersey for game two.

    However, Walters raised eyebrows by moving Boyd to left centre and putting him on a collision course with Blues strike weapon Dugan.

    Boyd has never played the position in Origin and last featured as a centre for NRL club Brisbane back in 2009.

    “Defensively will be the big challenge for him, trying to contain Dugan on that right side,” Walters told Triple M radio.

    “It’s a bit of a risk as such.

    “But not from my eyes. We have full confidence in Darius’s ability.”

    Walters admitted it would have been “easy” to move Boyd to left wing and Dane Gagai into the centres as Queensland made seven changes after the debacle that was game one.

    But Walters confirmed Boyd was the one who suggested he would be best suited in the centres in a new look Maroons backline.

    “I just think it is a great challenge for Darius,” Walters said.

    “I had a good chat with Darius before the team was named.

    “I put it to him where he thought he could best help Queensland and his answer to me was in the centres. That’s what we have gone with.”

    Walters has rolled the dice in a bid to force the series into a game three decider at Suncorp Stadium.

    He appeared under pressure after reports Wayne Bennett was ready to take over the Maroons reins next year if Queensland lost the 2017 Origin series.

    The QRL have since backed Walters – in his second year at the helm – to see out his contract until the end of 2018.

    Former Queensland lock Corey Parker was angry the story that Walters may face the axe had even circulated.

    “I am disappointed we are reading that about the Queensland coach from our own print press,” he told Triple M radio.

    “I think it stinks. That’s not what we are about.

    “Kevin Walters has all the attributes you want for a Queensland coach – he won the series last year.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • June 18th 2017 @ 4:04pm
      kk said | June 18th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

      If O2 boils down to centre pairings as opposed to individual match ups then
      Boyd/ Chambers are rock hard fit and less injury prone injury than Dugan/Hayne.

      Individually, it maybe slightly different but endurance will win the night.

      The Maroons biggest worry is the fitness of Bill and John. Q by 7

    • June 18th 2017 @ 9:44pm
      Rob said | June 18th 2017 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

      Queensland are doing all the things NSW have been doing for the last decade? They have picked 2 props and will look to have a back rower play that position off the bench? They have 3 wingers better than Boyd so now they have tried to find a spot that might work best for him to stay in the side? Oates(left) and Holmes (right) should have played game one with Slater fullback. Morgan would be better suited in the centre position than Boyd. Gagai could be excellent off the bench but Munster would give better all round cover.

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