NRL legend Benji Marshall has come out swinging in support of under-fire Brisbane captain Darius Boyd, emphasising "form is temporary".
Calls for the Boyd to forego the final two years of his lucrative contract are growing louder after the Broncos catapulted out of the finals last week.
Boyd has been below his best this season and was moved from fullback to five-eighth, but Marshall said the former Australian and Queensland star had the class to potentially win the Dally M medal in 2020.
"Form is temporary, he's a class player, he might come out next year and be the best player in the competition," Marshall told NRL 360.
"Darius doesn't deserve for people to tell him when it's time to retire. When you sign a contract as a professional athlete, for however long that is, you're entitled to play that long.
"People think Darius isn't playing good enough, yet he's still getting picked every week, that to me means he's living up the coaches standards and expectations.
"People have an opinion he's not doing his job so he should retire, well if he's not doing his job then why does he keep getting picked?"
Brisbane resurrected Marshall's career in 2017 which paved the way for an emotional return to Wests Tigers where he won a famous premiership in 2005.
The 34-year-old arguably produced some career-best form at the Tigers this season but unlike Boyd, Marshall doesn't have a contract for 2020 and remains in negotiations with his club.
"If you're a club and you're signing players and you sign him for three years on big money, that's your problem, you've made that commitment," Marshall said.
"If I was Darius and I love the Broncos and I'm signed there for two more years, I'm gonna stay there and do my best to make the team.
"If I'm not good enough, don't pick me."
Australian Associated Press