‘I wasn’t very good’: $2.4m Titans prop after 2019 shocker
FORMER Test prop Shannon Boyd is determined to bounce into the new year a different player in a bid to turn around the forgettable start to his tenure at the Gold Coast Titans.
Boyd has dropped 7kg from his hulking frame compared to this time last year and is on the comeback from shoulder surgery following the toughest season of his career.
Boyd, 27, struggled for form in his 13 appearances in 2019 and was relegated to the bench for seven games before injury ended his season after Round 17.
Former Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan, who was sacked in July as the Titans headed towards the wooden spoon, signed Boyd to a $2.4 million four-year deal to prise the ex-Kangaroos forward away from Canberra last year.
Boyd, who was criticised heavily during his first year at the Titans, said he wanted to put 2019 behind him.
"I wasn't very good, I wasn't happy with it at all," he said.
"It made it hard to watch when the boys kept losing. It was one of those seasons none of us want to remember.
"I don't really want to talk about last year. We'll move forward, stay positive and have a better start this year."
Boyd played 111 NRL games for Canberra from 2014-19, making at least 20 appearances each season as he developed into one of the game's top front-row forwards.
After playing four Tests for the Kangaroos after the 2016 season, he has struggled to reach those heights since.
Boyd reported for preseason training in November weighing 125kg, down from 132kg the year prior, despite being sidelined by a shoulder reconstruction.
"I came back in underdone last year. This year I'm feeling a lot fitter, faster and stronger," he said.
"I looked after myself. Being in rehab I knew I had to be careful, I knew I'd get really heavy. I did a bit more training when I was back home and that sort of thing.
"I'm trying to do the best job I can at the moment. I've been doing a lot of running and conditioning to get my weight and body right.
"Hopefully I can have a good season."
Boyd's 2019 struggles were compounded by the success of his former club.
While Boyd sat on the sidelines injured, he watched the Raiders sail into the top four and qualify for the 2019 grand final, which they lost to the Roosters.
"It was bittersweet," Boyd said.
"I'm good mates with most of the blokes down there.
"It was exciting. I went down and watched the Rabbitohs (preliminary) final in Canberra. I was so pleased they made the grand final and went so well.
"At the same time it sucked because I just left that club and they've gone so well."
Boyd said his goal was to be available for the Gold Coast's pre-season trial matches in February and push for a Round 1 berth under new coach Justin Holbrook.