Big, big Boyd ready to roll Kiwis
Photo Source: AAP
None of Shannon Boyd's new green and gold kit fitted him when he joined the Australian camp earlier this week.
Once he found some clothes that did, the hulking Canberra prop moved to shocking his new Kangaroos teammates with the massive weights he can lift in the gym.
But the Test rookie will be hoping the biggest impression he leaves in Perth will be on the New Zealand forward pack at nib Stadium on Saturday.
Boyd was the big surprise of coach Mal Meninga's 24-man Four Nations squad named last week. However after spearheading the Raiders to a preliminary final this year it is a spot he has earned.
The 24-year-old 122kg, 194cm giant from Cowra in the central west of NSW, will make his Test debut, alongside Valentine Holmes and Tyson Frizell, against a massive Kiwis forward pack and his teammates are expecting big, even bigger things.
"First of all he is a massive human being, who takes a lot of stopping," Kangaroos bench forward Sam Thaiday told AAP.
"He has played some really good footy, on the back of Canberra's success this year he has had the chance to really shine.
"(Raiders coach) Ricky Stuart has really brought the best out of him, it is a great reward for a player like him to play in the Australian side at such a young age
"I know he will be relishing the experience playing alongside the veteran forwards in this side and he is only going to get bigger and better."
Australian skipper Cameron Smith was just one of a number of players who recalled the impression Boyd's weight sessions have made this week.
"I wasn't in there but I heard about it," he said.
"I played against him a couple of times this year and it was hard work to contain him," Smith said on Friday.
"He's been great this week. He's obviously very excited with the opportunity he's been given.
"He's probably a little bit surprised with his selection in the team. Given the way that he played for the Raiders this year and how well their team went, a big reason why they played so well was because of his efforts.
"I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do at this level."
Expect an emotional Boyd when he runs onto nib Stadium at around 5pm local time on Saturday.
"I wasn't that emotional when Mal called me about being in the squad but I think I will be if I get to play," Boyd, who has played 67 games for the Raiders since 2014 and is yet to play State of Origin, said earlier this week."
"I am just so excited to be named in the 24-man squad.
"To be a chance of playing it is a lot more than what I thought I would achieve this year.