Catalans Dragons’ returning back rower Greg Bird has been impressed with how the club has changed since his last spell in Perpignan in 2009.
This time around, he wants to help take the club to what they missed out on during his last spell – a Super League grand final.
“It’s changed so much – the facilities, the staff, admin and coaching,” he told Catalans’ TV channel.
“Our team roster is amazing, like it was back then, and hopefully we can go one step further than we did last time I was here in 2009 and go to that grand final.”
Bird also stated that he had always wanted to return to Catalans, once he had fulfilled his dream of playing represtative rugby back in Australia.
He is thankful that Dragons chairman Bernard Guasch has given him that chance.
“Another thing I said was that when I’d done that [play rep footy], I want to come back and finish my career playing over here,” Bird added.
“He’s given me the opportunity now, and I’m very grateful, and I’ll hopefully repay him with competitive football from myself, and hopefully the team behind me.”
The player’s wife and daughter are set to follow him to France soon, and he is looking forward to getting settled once again in Perpigan.
He is also hoping that his NRL experience can help the younger players at the club, as he builds towards taking on a role on the staff in Perpignan.
“I like the idea of coaching, I like sharing knowledge,and trying to improve other players, not just myself,” he said.
“Hopefully I can do that as a player with some of the younger guys in our squad coming through.
“At the moment, I do some work with the Under-19s boys with the Catalans, and hopefully improve my coaching with those guys.
“Then I’ll take up a role in 2020 or 2021 on the staff here, and continue to work with the club.”