Bird eyes second Dragons stint


27th November 2013

Australia Test forward Greg Bird has spoken of his desire to end his career back in Super League.

The Gold Coast Titans second rower, preparing to play for the Kangaroos in Saturday's World Cup final against New Zealand, says he still owes a debt of gratitude to Catalan Dragons for throwing him a lifeline in 2009 when he was at the lowest point of both his career and his personal life.

Bird needed to get away from the limelight of Sydney and, after a proposed move to Bradford Bulls fell through due to visa problems, he spent the 2009 season in Perpignan.

The year in the south of France not only enabled Bird to sort out his private life, it re-ignited his passion for the game and, appointed as the Dragons captain, he led them to within 80 minutes of a maiden Grand Final appearance.

"I had a few dramas going on back in Australia and I needed to get away," he recalled. "Coming over to France, especially living on the beach in Canet, and getting back to playing football and enjoying life, it was a great experience.

"I loved it over here and I'd definitely think about coming back in a couple of years' time. The people down in Catalan are all great people.

"A lot of those guys have moved on but the core of the club is still there and I'd like to think I could go and give something back to them after my stint at the Titans.

"I was hoping to have an opportunity to see them whilst over here but we ended up on opposite sides of the draw (to France) but I actually spoke to their football manager Christophe (Jouffet) after the America game.

"It was good to see him and say 'hello'. I told him to ask me in four years' time, I'd be happy to come over and join the ranks again."