Darius Boyd set to part ways with Knights

BRETT KEEBLE
Last updated 06:34 15/08/2014
Darius Boyd
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NEW CHALLENGE: Embattled Newcastle Knights star Darius Boyd will reportedly leave the club at the season's end and has been linked with the Brisbane Broncos.

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Darius Boyd's days as a Knight are over.

The Knights announced yesterday that the 27-year-old Queensland and Australian international had completed his treatment for depression but would not play again this year.

Though the Knights have not confirmed it publicly, Boyd will not return to Newcastle next season to complete the final year of the four-year contract he signed when he followed coach Wayne Bennett from St George Illawarra at the end of 2011.

The Newcastle Herald reported on July 22 that Boyd had told Knights team-mates, coaches and officials in preceding weeks that he would leave the club at the end of this season.

The following day, the Knights announced that Boyd had checked himself into a Sydney mental-health clinic seeking treatment for depression, and he has not played a game since.

''Darius Boyd has completed his rehabilitation program for depression in a Sydney mental health facility,'' the Knights announced in a statement on Thursday.

''Boyd won't return to playing this season as he continues to focus on his recovery.

''Boyd hasn't made a decision on his playing future.

''Boyd wishes to thank the club, his teammates and the fans for their support at this time.''

Boyd has been linked to several rival NRL clubs but the general belief throughout the rugby league community is that he is expected to follow Bennett to the Brisbane Broncos, where he began his 204-game career as an 18-year-old schoolboy in 2006.

Bennett, who has been a father figure during Boyd's career, has been his only NRL coach.

At a media conference on July 23 when he spoke about Boyd's fragile state of mental health, Bennett said playing rugby league again was not the talented fullback's priority.

''To be honest with you, he's had a great love affair with football and maybe many times in his life, football's been the thing that's held him together,'' Bennett said.

''But right now, football's not the thing that's holding him together. It's his health and he realises that and football is secondary to everything else.''

Bennett described Boyd as the most introverted player he had ever coached.

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- Newcastle Herald

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