Broncos preparing to play without Boyd

 

The door is ajar for Darius Boyd to make a welcome return for Brisbane after the injured skipper was named 18th man for Friday night's knockout NRL semi-final against Penrith.

Boyd is racing the clock to recover from a hamstring complaint that forced him to miss last week's qualifying final loss to the Sydney Roosters.

On Tuesday the Broncos rolled the dice and named the Test No.1 on an extended bench.

But Broncos lock Josh McGuire admitted the side was preparing for the Suncorp Stadium clash without their inspirational fullback.

"If he plays it is a massive bonus but we are preparing without him," he said.

"He's our captain, of course he will be (missed).

"But we are confident in the guys to get the job done.

"We just need to get the 17 that are named ready for Penrith."

Besides Boyd, explosive backrower Tevita Pangai Jr returns from a hamstring complaint after being named on the Broncos' extended bench.

Wayne Bennett has stuck with veteran Benji Marshall in the halves with Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima at fullback.

Veteran forward Sam Thaiday kept his fingers crossed Boyd would return in the sudden death clash.

"The physio has been doing everything he can. Darius was doing a bit more running today," Thaiday said.

"A player like him I am sure Wayne (Bennett) will give him until the last minute."

Asked if it would be a risk to roll the dice with Boyd's injury, Thaiday said: "That's a great question but I am not a physio."

Thaiday said whether Boyd was fit or not, Brisbane had to "play like there is no tomorrow" against Penrith.

"We were playing (the Roosters) as if we had a second chance and now there aren't any more," he said.

"If we don't compete this week the season's over."

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