It came as a surprise to many when Shannon Boyd was picked in Mal Meninga's Australian Kangaroos team for the end of season Four Nations tournament.
Boyd went on to play four tests for the Kangaroos, including the comprehensive victory over New Zealand in the final. While he didn't play huge minutes, he was damaging off the bench in every match.
It was Boyd's form during the Raiders charge to the finals that saw him rewarded with the Australian jersey, with the 122kg wrecking ball becoming a rock in defence and a weapon in attack.
The international experience will be a huge benefit for Boyd in 2017, and he will surely be rewarded with a NSW Blues jersey if he starts the year off strongly.
His budding front row partnership with Junior Paulo will also be a key storyline in 2017, as the pair have the potential to become one of the most destructive forward partnerships in the NRL.