COACH IS SAFE: Darius Boyd (right) and coach Wayne Bennett
COACH IS SAFE: Darius Boyd (right) and coach Wayne Bennett GLENN HUNT

Bennett under no threat of the axe

RUGBY LEAGUE: Brisbane skipper Darius Boyd has laughed off suggestions super coach Wayne Bennett is under pressure to see out his NRL contract.

Heading into season 2018 the Broncos are under the gun given their 11-year premiership drought, the longest in the glamour club's history.

The Broncos have been linked with off-contract North Queensland premiership- winner Paul Green, while Queensland coach Kevin Walters has been added to Bennett's staff.

Walters is known to covet the Broncos job and will be in the wings should 68-year-old Bennett not see out his contract which expires next year.

However critics seeking to chop down Bennett - who guided the club to their six titles between 1992 and 2006 - is something Boyd has seen regularly throughout his 11-year association that which has stretched across three clubs and two stints at Brisbane.

"I just think that comes every year,” Boyd said at the NRL season launch in Sydney.

"You've got to fill the news somehow. Last year (it was claimed) he lost the playing group and we weren't going to make the eight.”

The Broncos have not lifted the Provan-Summons Trophy since Boyd's debut season in 2006.

They have added Jack Bird and controversial prop Matt Lodge in the hope of improving on their 2017 season when they were bundled out by Melbourne one game short of the grand final.

The loss of Ben Hunt and Benji Marshall has placed pressure on halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima and led to questions about Bennett's list management.

"It is what it is,” Boyd said.

"You're not going to have everyone on your side to support you 100 per cent. There's always doubters.

"But that's the beauty of rugby league. We get to go out there and prove them wrong.”

Boyd said he was a certain starter for the Broncos' round one clash with his former club St George Illawarra despite sitting out all of his side's pre-season trials with a hamstring injury.

"Hamstrings can be a funny. They can hang around. The one I had last year was a bit of a different one. It was more tendon pain and that lasted a couple of months,” Boyd said.

"It's been a bit niggly. I hurt it in the last round and it flowed into the finals and the World Cup and I couldn't get it right.

"But having a proper pre-season is going to do me a world of good.” - AAP

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