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Knights legend Mark Hughes once famously said about results in the Steel City, 'When you win you shop at 6pm in your playing kit, but when you lose you shop a 6am when everyone is still asleep'.

It's a humorous yet highly accurate line from 'Boozy' Hughes that perfectly sums up the high stakes of winning in the rugby league fishbowl that is Newcastle.  

Talk to Club greats and the community's thirst for a successful team remains the same.

And when it comes to winning, Darius Boyd is a bloke who will do whatever it takes to get the points for Newcastle. 

I know you're thinking, 'isn't this the same guy that's long been criticised for his supposed lack of commitment to the red and blue?'

But speak to those on the inside and they'll tell you Boyd is among the most focused and professional Knights to pull on the jumper.

He's the ultimate pro and a bloke that sets the bar so high, some of his teammates struggle to keep up. 

Like the day after Queensland relinquished the Origin shield for the first time in eight years with defeat in Sydney, Boyd was back at Knights HQ slogging away at training.

Sure he was sore and sorry after 80-minutes of Origin warfare, but he still turned up and put in one of his best sessions of the year according to Performance Director Jeremy Hickmans. 

"And that session he didn't have to train," reveals Hickmans, who has worked alongside Boyd since 2006 when he was a rookie sensation at the Brisbane Broncos. 

"He had to here, but he didn't have to train. So we were expecting him not to train, but he put his hand up saying he wanted to get back into it. 

"That was just his way of getting back on the horse."

You see, Boyd will do whatever it takes to be successful and it's why he has achieved so much in his career at such a young age.

From two premierships through to a Clive Churchill Medal, countless Origin wins and a World Cup trophy, Boyd is one of the most successful players in the game.

It's not a bad effort for a 26-year-old who still has many more years left in the game.

Hickmans says it's Boyd's deep desire to succeed that defines him. 

"Darius will do anything to win," he says. 

"That's what people don't see, the times when he is up at 3am in the morning icing his ankle so he can get back. 

"Last year when he played the second Origin after he injured his ankle against the Warriors, the amount of time he put into getting himself right was ridiculous.

"You don't see that type of thing.

"He also did a great job coming back from his hamstring injury at the start of the year. He pushed himself so hard to get back.

"He hates being injured and he detests not being out on the field and he is one player that you can not rest. He just won't. 

"So I know if he doesn't train out there, there is a real strong reason. He is the last person you'd worry about pulling out of training."    

Boyd's application to defy the pain barrier and give everything for the Knights was on display again after the opening Origin in Brisbane.

Busted after a bruising encounter against the Blues at Suncorp Stadium, the fullback had every right to pull out of the match.    

Instead, Boyd played against the Warriors and even made that memorable tackle on flying winger David Fusitu'a in the second half.

"There is no way Darbs should have played that weekend against the Warriors," teammate Willie Mason recalls.

"After Origin, he could hardly walk the day before the Warriors game and he shouldn't have played. 

"But he put his hand up for the team. You can't question his desire or anything like that."

It's a trend that continued just last Monday, when a Club trainer asked Boyd if he wanted to come off early against the Cowboys after backing up from Origin, to which he replied, ‘No way’.

Again, Hickmans says this comes back to Boyd's strong will to win for his team.  

"Darius is as good as anyone I've ever worked with," he enthuses. 

"He'll just tick every box and he is the first player to go into Origin camp and learn from the players there and speak to everyone about they are doing and how he can improve his game.

"And that is what his whole focus is on, is how he can be the best player he can be.  

"Sometimes that can come across as a bit of arrogance, but it's just a case of him wanting to be the best and he'll do anything to get there really."         

Ok, so Boyd is as professional and successful but he is often criticised for being quiet and for giving little away in the public forum.

Talk to Hickmans and he says the Knights' No.1 is as affable as anyone, but you must first earn his respect.  

"From a personal point of view, you have to earn his trust and that just takes a while," he explains. 

"But once you do, he is very articulate and he'll talk to you about everything. 

"Then he is very different from the person who is in the public eye, it's just getting through that initial exterior and him getting to trust you."  

Hickmans says Boyd reminds him of Brisbane legend Darren Lockyer, who he spent plenty of time alongside during his time at the Broncos.

"Look at someone like Lockyer," he reasons.

"He wasn't the person around the place and he was pretty quiet. Then you had the other people that were loud, noisy and were the jokers of the team. 

"Darius is similar to that. He gets in and focuses and he is there to do a job, but you can still have a bit of a laugh at the same time. I've definitely seem that coming out in him more in the last few years.

"That's definitely as he has grown up and become more comfortable in himself that way. So he has been a lot more relaxed and fun around training and footy hasn't been his sole focus. 

"That's when you'll see him playing cards and joking around with everyone. 

"But he is never going to be Willie Mason, but that's fine."