Bird disappointed over NRL departure

New Catalans signing Greg Bird admits the manner in which he left the Gold Coast Titans was far from ideal.

Bird was released from the Titans to take up a five-year deal with the French club. At the time the forward was being investigated by the NRL Integirty Unit for two off-field incidents.

Bird played 129 games for the Gold Coast over seven years, and said things could have been dealt with in a better way.

“It’s no secret I was a bit disappointed with the way it was handled back there,” he told Love Rugby League.

“They are always looking to work the salary cap the best they can and always looking at younger players coming through.

“I understood it but that doesn’t mean I was happy about it.”

Bird’s exit from the NRL effectively ends his long representative career.

The 32-year old last featured for the Kangaroos in the 2015 Anzac Test. He has also represented New South Wales 18 times and was part of the side which secured the 2014 series victory – ending Queensland’s eight year winning streak.

“I have no aspirations to do that stuff anymore,” Bird said.

“I have enjoyed representing at the highest levels but I am focused entirely on the Catalans.

“I’ll enjoy watching the World Cup from the comfort my own lounge.”

One of the things which most appealed to Bird when rejoining the Catalans was the offer to become an assistant coach after he hangs his playing boots up.

“I am very lucky it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” he said.

“I like sharing knowledge and trying to get the best out of players.

“I have dabbled in it in the junior ranks whilst I was playing for the Titans.”

Since his last spell at the Dragons in 2009, Bird admitted the facilities on offer now are worlds apart.

“The facilities are world class now,” he said.

“When I was here last time all these facilities weren’t here.”

Bird might be in the latter stages of his career, but he said he plans to give 110% during these next few years in Perpignan.

“Some players come over for a holiday some players come over for a change of scenery. I am looking at it as another challenge,” he said.

As part of the Dragons’ pre-season preparations they spent a week training with the firefighters, which was a real challenge for the Australian.

“It was the worst three days of my life,” he said.

“During it I thought this is the biggest waste of time ever.

“The second you finish, reflect and look back and you see how everyone was in the same position I think we really started to build some team culture and unity.”

Some of the things which they had to do were a real shock to the system, according to Bird.

“We had one ration pack to share between five blokes for the whole day,” he said.

“The first day was pretty tough and then we did a first aid course from midnight through to the sun came up during both nights.”

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