Inglis at Boyd’s Side During Darkest Hours
Together they are the most potent try-scoring combination in Origin history, but Maroons winger Darius Boyd has revealed how a visit by Greg Inglis as he sought treatment for adjustment depression last year helped to forge an even stronger bond off the field.
Heading into Game One of the 2015 Holden State of Origin Series next Wednesday night, Boyd and Inglis are locked together on 15 tries apiece as the greatest try-scorers in Origin history, a remarkable feat given they both play on the left side of the field for Queensland.
Boyd's 15th try came in Game Three of last year's series but the next time his Maroons roommate would see him was in a far different context.
Yet another awkward Boyd media moment as he left the team hotel after Game Three was followed by an incident at a Hunter Valley resort and, just two weeks after leaving a victorious Queensland camp, he checked himself into a mental health clinic to seek treatment.
In his 21-day stint Boyd had few visitors but said the visit by Inglis came at a really important time in his life.
"'GI' is a special guy," Boyd told NRL.com.
"He came and visited me when I was in the clinic last year and there were only a couple of people that did that and that's something I'll never forget and really cherish.
"He sent me a text and said he was going to come in but there were only a couple of guys that come and saw me and he was one of them.
"I just thought that was a pretty special thing and at a time when I wasn't feeling the best or feeling like I had a lot of people in my corner it was really special to have someone like GI come and visit me.
"I've been roomies with him for a long time and our wives are pretty friendly, he's just had a little baby so I feel like we have a good relationship. We don't talk all the time but when we do it's always caring."
Twelve months ago when the Queensland team assembled for Origin I the prospect of interviewing Boyd was just about off limits.
It was an impasse that members of the media had become resigned to so to see the 27-year-old mix freely and speak openly on Tuesday was the greatest insight we had yet been given to the 'real Darius'.
Close teammates regularly spoke about the Darius that they knew but even Inglis was caught unawares by the extent of Boyd's personal battles that came to a head last July.
"We didn't know he was struggling to the extent but with Darius bouncing back and being back in football and enjoying life away from footy as well is a massive key," said Inglis.
"With you guys in the media you just see the Darius Boyd that you get but behind closed doors I've roomed with him for six years in camps and gotten to be very close with him.
"He's very different when the camera's not in front of him but Darius has changed tremendously and changed for the better.
"It's great to have my wing-man back and it's great for a guy who has gone through so much last year to see him bounce back on his feet again and be back in the Origin side.
"It just shows what a big turnaround he has had in his life and I'm extremely proud and I can't express how happy I am for him."
Preparing for his 21st Origin match for Queensland just six months after suffering an Achilles tendon injury in pre-season training with the Broncos, Boyd has allowed himself to enjoy playing football again.
For a long time he didn't care what people outside his close circle thought of him but admits that by July last year that negative perception had begun to weigh too heavily.
"It obviously got me in the end because it was too much for me to take in the end," Boyd said.
"For a long time there I didn't think I cared just because I knew what the people close to me – the boys, the coaching staff, Wayne, Mal, family and friends – all knew the person I was.
"For whatever reason it got mixed up with the way I would handle or treat media or things I do off the field and that got to be too big in the end.
"The small minority of my little group thought I was a good bloke and the rest of the community thought I wasn't and that was definitely too much in the end. It didn't worry me for a while but last year it definitely was too much.
"I don't know whether it has anything to do with the injury or whether it's my off-field things that I've changed but being back on the field feels great.
"Everything has just been going really well at the moment so I have no reason to feel down or no reason to play bad footy so I'm just really enjoying everything at the moment."
During this year's State of Origin series, the #NRLStateofMind campaign will launch in partnership with Lifeline, Headspace, Kids Helpline and The Black Dog Institute. Visit nrlstateofmind.com.au
This Story first appeared on NRL.com.