Ignored Boyd drops leadership bombshell
The Broncos have suffered another internal crisis with Brisbane's most decorated player, Darius Boyd, quitting the leadership group because of a communication breakdown with coach Anthony Seibold.
News Corp Australia can reveal Brisbane's leadership group has undergone a shake-up in the past fortnight after Boyd dropped a bombshell by severing ties with the club's senior core.
As a result of Boyd's decision to walk away, leadership-group meetings have been axed, replaced by one-on-one mentoring sessions with club legend Darren Lockyer.
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The revelation should ring cultural alarm bells for Broncos bosses.
It is yet another blow for the besieged Seibold, who on Saturday informed Brisbane he was remaining in Sydney to attend to a serious family matter - sidelining him for their next two games against Canberra and the Dragons.
Seibold's assistant Peter Gentle will act as caretaker coach and one of his first tasks will be harmonising a Brisbane side rocked by 10 losses in 11 games and the shock departure of Boyd from their leadership group.
Seibold insisted Brisbane's leadership group has not been scrapped altogether, saying only "modifications" had been made.
That refers to Brisbane's eight-man senior core being broken into two smaller divisions.
There is now one group of "experienced leaders" headed by skipper Alex Glenn, Matt Lodge, Ben Te'o and Tevita Pangai Jnr, and a secondary unit of "developing leaders" comprising Pat Carrigan, Payne Haas and Brodie Croft.
A notable omission is Boyd, who is Brisbane's most accomplished current player, having played 330 NRL games, 28 State of Origin games, 23 Tests and winning two premierships in 2006 and 2010.
It can be revealed that two weeks ago, Boyd - who will retire at season's end - notified the Broncos he would not take part in future leadership-group meetings.
It is understood Boyd was not only frustrated by his requests to play fullback being consistently rejected by Seibold, but also a feeling his suggestions in leadership-group meetings were falling on deaf ears with the coach.
Without Boyd, Seibold has changed the way his leadership-group functions.
In pre-season, Lockyer was hired to provide leadership training for the entire group, who were encouraged to share ideas. Now team meetings are over. Lockyer instead works individually with the seven nominated players, minus Boyd.
There was a feeling the Broncos' leadership group, which swelled to eight when Ben Te'o signed in June, had become too unwieldy given the gulf in age and experience between 32-year-old Glenn, for example, and 20-year-old rookie Haas.
"The leadership group has two groups within it," Lockyer said.
"There are individuals there who are developing leaders such as Pat Carrigan, Payne Haas and Brodie Croft and then there are the experienced leaders like Alex Glenn, Matt Lodge, Ben Te'o and Tevita.
"With the COVID restrictions, it has been difficult with me not in the bubble.
"The objective is try and drill down into the individual a bit more and tailor the messages to each guy to get the best out of them."
Tensions between Boyd and Seibold have become more overt in recent weeks.
Seibold sacked Boyd as captain in pre-season, then poured salt on his wound when he axed him as fullback, moving him to left centre this year. Boyd, however, believes fullback is still his best position and he has communicated that to Seibold throughout the season.
Despite Boyd's sentiments, Seibold deployed others ahead of him at fullback including Jamayne Isaako, Jack Bird, Anthony Milford and Tesi Niu.
With all four unavailable, Boyd was finally handed the No.1 jumper a fortnight ago. In his return to fullback, Boyd was man-of-the-match against Cronulla and has five try-assists in two games.
Asked on Fox Sports during the week why he wasn't named at fullback earlier in the year, Boyd gave Seibold a subtle uppercut, saying: "It's a good question … you'd have to ask the coach.
"We've had a few conversations. I'll keep them in-house. I've wanted to play fullback all year. I still think I'm the best fullback at the club.
"Seibs must have thought differently."
Lockyer defended Seibold's decision to add Te'o to the leadership group mid-season.
"Ben Te'o is well-travelled," he said.
"He has been to different successful organisations and even though he isn't playing a lot of minutes, the guys respect and listen to him."
Despite quitting the leadership group, Boyd is giving his all for the team. He was Brisbane's most vocal player behind the goalposts in their 28-10 loss to Souths on Friday night.
Carrigan said Brisbane's status as the NRL's biggest brand imposed extra pressures, but said he had learned from Boyd and Lockyer.
"It has been challenging (as a leader) because the Broncos is such a big club, but I'm enjoying it," he said.
"I am pretty lucky at the club with guys like Darius and Alex who have done what they have in the game, as well as Darren Lockyer.
"As a team we are missing things in certain areas, so it (leadership training) is about how you can help others be better around you."
Originally published as Ignored Boyd drops leadership bombshell