Glamorous backline won’t be enough for Hurricanes

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James Mortimer     18 Jul 2014     Getty Images

Boyd was given an early Christmas present yesterday with confirmation that All Blacks second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu will return home to Wellington.

With the dreadlocked midfielder back on the books, a potential starting back division featuring TJ Perenara, Beauden Barrett, Nonu, Conrad Smith, Cory Jane and Julian Savea is enough to give rival coaches plenty of nightmares.

However Boyd, who was given another reminder first hand recently of the importance of frontal platforms, knows that nothing will happen if the forwards don’t do the dirty work.

Boyd, who recently oversaw the New Zealand Under 20s Junior World Championship campaign, had an array of attacking stars at his disposal but watched as heavyweight packs in the form of South Africa and England went about their business with brutal efficiency.

"I don't think any of us are stupid enough to think that good backlines are going to get you a constantly good performance," Boyd, who will become the Hurricanes fifth coach, told NZ Newswire.

"In round terms, forward packs will win you championships and backlines will win you games."

Boyd, who coached Nonu at provincial level over a decade ago for the Lions, said he was delighted to have such a player refill the midfield stocks which were low with the departures of Alapati Leiua and Tim Bateman.

Rather than comment on Nonu’s past off the field, Boyd preferred to concentrate on the All Blacks playing ability and whether at times he shouldered too much responsibility and his game suffered as a consequence.

"At those other teams, I think he's carried the can a little too much," Boyd said.

"Hopefully with the roster he's got around him, we can just ask him to be the best that he can in his particular role.”