Maroons rocked by shock retirement
QUEENSLAND are still licking their wounds after being swept aside by the NSW Blues in the opening game of the 2018 State of Origin series.
With their backs against the wall, coach Kevin Walters won't be able to rely upon calling on experience after another player decided to hang his boots up.
Darius Boyd has become the latest player to walk away from representative rugby league, following in the footsteps of Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
Boyd was overlooked for the series opener due to form, but showed on the weekend he was still capable of producing at a high standard.
After 28 games with the Maroons where he scored 17 tries, Boyd decided the time was right to walk away.
''My time's done in rep footy," Boyd told The Courier-Mail.
"I've had a great career. I have nothing to be disappointed about. I'm really happy with everything I've achieved in the rep arena.
"I don't think I have anything more to prove. It's time for the younger fellas coming in. They have great players, really quality guys coming through."
In the round 14 clash against the Melbourne Storm, Boyd scored a try in the opening half and pointed to his wrist where the letters KW were written. Many speculated the initials were that of Maroons coach Walters.
With Storm fullback Billy Slater still under an injury cloud, there was rumours the Brisbane Broncos skipper could have been in line for a call up.
Game 2 of Origin is set to kick off on June 24 and despite a potential elevation into the side, Boyd has ruled out reversing his decision.
"For me it's best to step aside and let the young guys go," Boyd said.
"It's their time to shine, and do their thing and keep the dominance Queensland has had so long."
The loss of yet another superstar will hurt the Maroons' chances of completing an Origin comeback however it could set in stone the foundations for a bright future.
BULLDOGS STAR OPEN TO MOVING ON
Moses Mbye could have just one NRL game left for Canterbury after he left the door open to a mid-season switch to the Wests Tigers.
Speaking for the first time since he signed a four-year deal with the Wests Tigers last month, Mbye refused to rule out the possibility of a move to the club before the June 30 deadline.
Mbye was forced out of the Bulldogs due to the club's ongoing salary cap woes, and Tigers coach Ivan Cleary has made no secret he'd like to move him across earlier if possible.
The Bulldogs host Gold Coast at Belmore on Saturday before the representative round, meaning any switch would need to happen before Canterbury's June 30 trip to Newcastle.
An early move would potentially assist the Bulldogs' difficult situation, given the club would be able to juggle at least some money out of next year's roster and into their 2018 cap.
Mbye is yet to speak with Canterbury management about the situation but admitted it wasn't out of the question, especially if they drop out of running for the top eight with another loss.
"Any person who is smart enough to run a club this size has the brain to think about that sort of situation," Mbye said on Monday.
"With the situation, any dollar is a lot for this club at the moment, especially with the salary cap.
"It's the NRL, anything can happen ... But at the moment, I'm playing whatever games I have left."
Mbye's comments came after Canterbury dropped their 10th game of the season to St George Illawarra, leaving them 15th and equal on wins with last-placed Parramatta.
He would be a handy asset for the Tigers, who are in need of a full-time fullback as they attempt to climb back into the top eight from ninth spot.
The 24-year-old made no secret of the fact his first preference was to remain with the Bulldogs until the end of his 2020 contract at Canterbury.
"From day one I wanted to stay," he said.
"But I'm sort of aware of the situation we are in and what needed to happen.
"These are my mates. I've been at this club since I was 17 and I think the boys deserve my effort for at least until the end of the year."
However, he admitted it made sense for the Tigers to try and get him across earlier.
"I think the Tigers invested in a four-year term in myself and they'd want me to get there early. I think everyone would," Mbye said.
"But at the moment I haven't been approached by the club or I haven't approached the club about it.
"We'll just wait and see where the chips fall and see what happens."
- with AAP