Bird pledges Catalans return

Gold Coast-bound Greg Bird has pledged to return to Catalans later in his career, following his return to the NRL.

Bird, 25, completed his move to the Titans yesterday on a one-year deal, with the option to three further one-year deals.

It meant he rejected a two-year offer from Catalans, who he captained to the play-offs last season, where they fell just 80 minutes short of a first Grand Final appearance.

In an open letter to the club, Bird offered his thanks and support to the Dragons.

He said: “I have loved my time at Catalans and I regard captaining the team as one of my greatest honours. I can’t thank the club enough for the support they have given me.

“I have decided to return to the NRL next year to continue my career with a view to chasing my football goals.”

Bird was dumped by NRL side Cronulla when details of his charges were released, charges that were subsequently proved unfounded at court last month.

He then signed for Bradford, but was refused a UK visa before he was rescued by the Dragons and handed a contract in France.

“I have had to endure a lot over the past 15 months in my fight to prove my innocence off the field, but it was of great comfort to know that I could return to the playing field each week and lead my team mates playing the game I love.  

“I will never forget what the Catalan Dragons did for me when I was going through the hardest period of my life.  I would like to one day return to the club to wear the dragons colours again and hopefully repay the fans for their support by leading the team to more victories.”

Bird scored five tries in 22 appearances for the Dragons and returns to the NRL where he has previously scored 35 tries and six goals in 106 appearances for the Sharks.

In his previous spell Down Under, he made two appearances for the Kangaroos and played four times in the State of Origin for New South Wales.

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