Greg Bird (rugby league)

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Greg Bird
Personal information
Full nameGregory James Howard Bird
Born (1984-02-10) 10 February 1984 (age 34)
Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
Height183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Weight102 kg (16 st 1 lb)
Playing information
Position Lock, Second-row, Five-eighth
Club
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
2002–08 Cronulla Sharks 1063560152
2009 Catalans Dragons 2353026
2010–16 Gold Coast Titans 12915192100
2017– Catalans Dragons 4460024
Total30261282302
Representative
YearsTeamPldTGFGP
2007–12 NSW Country 30000
2007–16 New South Wales 182008
2007–13 Prime Minister's XIII 30000
2007–15 Australia 1740016
2010–12 Indigenous All Stars 30000
As of 1 October 2018
Source: [1] [2]

Greg Bird (born 10 February 1984) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays for the Catalans Dragons in the Super League. An Australia international and New South Wales State of Origin representative lock or second-row, Bird previously played for the NRL for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, and the Gold Coast Titans. Bird is in his second stint with the Catalans Dragons, having previously played for the France-based club in 2009.

Contents

Background

Born in Maitland, New South Wales, Bird played junior football for the West Maitland Red Dogs and Maitland Pumpkin Pickers before being signed by the Newcastle Knights. He played for the Knights' Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams before being signed by the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks. In 2001, while playing for Rutherford Technology High School, Bird was selected for the Australian Schoolboys team and captained the side. [3] [4]

Professional playing career

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks

In round 7 of the 2002 NRL season, Bird made his NRL debut for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. [5] [6] In 2003, he became a regular first-grader for the Sharks.

In 2004, Bird obtained notoriety after kneeing South Sydney Rabbitohs wing Shane Marteene in the head during their round 4 clash, which resulted in him being sent off by the referee and being suspended from playing for 10 weeks. [7] According to his agent, Gavin Orr, Bird had "said he copped a couple of blows to the face during the match and he got an elbow from Shane Marteene in the tackle and just lost it." [8] Chief executive of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Steve Rogers, claimed that Bird had "been made an example of" and was angered that there "wasn't much consideration given to Greg's youth and his previous record". [7] The judiciary stated that it took Bird's remorse and good record into account, but decided upon the lengthy suspension due to the severity of the offence. [9] After the game Bird apologised to Marteene in the dressing rooms and also wrote letters to the player and the South Sydney Rabbitohs club. [7]

In 2006, Bird posed for the Naked Rugby League 2007-08 charity calendar, which was produced to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia.

In March 2006, Bird was alleged to have sent model Lara Bingle inappropriate text messages, although he denied this. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks spokesman Rob Willis said "Greg's thrown up his hands. He says he's done nothing inappropriate. There's been nothing obscene written. There's been no harassment." [10]

In 2006, Bird suffered a serious rib injury in round 21, against the Newcastle Knights, which ended his season. He was voted as the Sharks' player of the year, despite missing 7 games of the season through injury. [11]

In May 2007, Bird was selected for the New South Wales Country Origin team in the annual City vs Country Origin match. In June 2007, Bird was selected for the New South Wales side to play Queensland in game 2 of the 2007 State of Origin series. His performance earned him a recall for game 3, this time at five-eighth. He was awarded the man of the match award. In September 2007, Bird was selected for the Prime Minister's XIII team to play Papua New Guinea. In October 2007, Bird was selected for Australia to play New Zealand in the one-off test match in Wellington, New Zealand. He scored a try on debut and was named the player's player.

In May 2008, Bird was selected for Australia in 2008 centenary test, retaining his five-eighth jersey in place of the injured Darren Lockyer. Bird was also selected for game 1 of the 2008 State of Origin series for New South Wales, controversially chosen again in the five-eighth position. He was named man of the match and was again selected in game 2. In August 2008, Bird was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. [12] [13] However, he didn't play a game in the tournament.

On 25 August 2008, Bird appeared in the Sutherland Local Court charged with maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on his 24-year-old American girlfriend, Katie Milligan, at his flat in Cronulla. It was alleged that he had smashed a glass into her face. It was reported that she underwent surgery for a fractured eye socket and facial injuries. Bird was granted bail. The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks chief executive, Tony Zappia, advised Bird that he would be stood down from the playing roster pending further investigation. Milligan had moved to Sydney to be with Bird earlier in the month, having met him in Las Vegas while he was on holiday there earlier in the year. [14] [15] [16] In September 2008, Bird's legal representative was advised that Bird would be facing additional charges of public mischief and false accusation. [17] The charges against Bird led to the British Government denying him a work permit to take up a playing position with Bradford Bulls. [18]

On 17 January 2009, Bird signed a 1-year contract with the Bradford Bulls starting in the same year [19] after being released from his contract with the Sharks the day before. [20] However, he was unable to play for the Bulls as his visa was denied. [18] After initially deciding to play rugby union for the Southern Districts Rugby Club in the Shute Shield, Bird eventually signed with French club the Catalans Dragons of the Super League. [21]

Catalans Dragons

On 13 March 2009, Bird again appeared in the Sutherland Local Court on 5 charges; 1 charge with 4 backup charges, of common assault against another woman at Cronulla on 19 January 2008. [22] This matter was not related to the case involving his girlfriend. [23] His accuser was found to have been the aggressor in the incident and Bird was cleared of all charges by the magistrate. [24] On 28 April 2009, he was found guilty of a count of reckless wounding of his girlfriend and another count of making a false accusation to police after attempting to blame his flatmate. [25] On 6 May 2009, the Dragons opened talks with Bird about extending his contract with the club despite his court case on 28 April 2009 for assault. [26] On 22 June 2009, he was sentenced to a maximum of 16 months imprisonment. [27]

On appeal in November 2009, Bird was acquitted of the charges, after both he and his girlfriend gave evidence to support his claims. [28]

Gold Coast Titans

On 7 December 2009, Bird signed a one-year contract with the Gold Coast Titans, starting in 2010, returning to the National Rugby League after being cleared of his glassing conviction. [29] [30] In February 2010, he was voted in by the fans for the Indigenous All Stars team to play the NRL All Stars in the inaugural All Stars Match. In May 2010, he was again selected for the New South Wales Country Origin team in the annual City vs Country Origin match. In July 2010, he was selected for game 3 of the 2010 State of Origin series for New South Wales. He scored a try. In November 2010, Bird played two matches for Australia in their 2010 Four Nations campaign. After playing 22 games for the Titans in 2010, he played for the Titans in 2011 and 2012 while also returning to the representative arena.

In February 2011, Bird was again voted in by the fans for the Indigenous All Stars team to play the NRL All Stars in the annual All Stars Match. In 2011, he was selected for New South Wales in all three games of the 2011 State of Origin series. In September 2011, he was again selected for the Prime Minister's XIII team to play Papua New Guinea. On 11 January 2013, he re-signed with the Titans on a four-year contract. [31] He was named a Titans co-captain for 2013 alongside Nate Myles. Bird was selected for Australia in the 2013 ANZAC Test and played at second-row forward. In what was the first test match ever played in Canberra, New Zealand were defeated.

In February 2012, Bird was again voted in by the fans for the Indigenous All Stars team to play the NRL All Stars in the annual All Stars match. In April 2012, he was again selected for the Country Origin team in the annual City vs Country Origin match. In 2012, he was again selected for New South Wales in all 3 games of the 2012 State of Origin series. In 2013, Bird played in all three games of the 2013 State of Origin series where NSW failed to win the shield once more. [32] In 2014, he played in Game 2 and 3 of the 2014 State of Origin series where he was finally part of a winning series. [33]

On 8 December 2014, Bird was fined after he was caught urinating next to a police car in a carpark outside where he was celebrating his wedding. He told the media "It's put a dampener on our wedding weekend. I'm incredibly embarrassed and disappointed at myself." [34] In February 2015, Bird was stood down by The Gold Coast after he was issued a court notice along with other Gold Coast players for alleged cocaine supply. On 7 October 2015, he had his charges thrown out of court. [35] [36] On 17 September 2016, Bird was alleged to have been involved in an incident at a Byron Bay pub and was placed under investigation by the NRL. On October 18, 2016, he was fined $550 after being found guilty of being intoxicated at the venue and refusing to leave after being instructed by security guards to do so. [37] At the end of 2016, he signed a five year deal to join Super League side Catalans Dragons. Before leaving for France, Bird took one last swipe at The Gold Coast saying "I’m disappointed that like other people at the club I got pushed out the door." [38]

Statistics

SeasonTeamPldTGFGPts
2002 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks92008
2003 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks2192040
2004 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks1132016
2005 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks121004
2006 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks1760024
2007 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks2092040
2008 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks1650020
2009 Catalans Dragons2353026
2010 Gold Coast Titans2230113
2011 Gold Coast Titans1931115
2012 Gold Coast Titans1730012
2013 Gold Coast Titans2032016
2014 Gold Coast Titans17314040
2015 * Gold Coast Titans120204
Totals22451252256

(* denotes season still competing)

Honours

Debut
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
First Grade Debut – 28 April 2002
Country
City vs. Country Debut – 3 May 2007
New South Wales Blues
State of Origin Debut – 13 June 2007
Australian Kangaroos
Australian Test Debut – 21 October 2007
Catalans Dragons
Club Debut – 7 March 2009
Gold Coast Titans
Club Debut – 14 March 2010
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Scott Prince
Captain
Gold Coast Titans

2013 – 2016
Succeeded by
Kevin Proctor
Awards
Preceded by
Nate Myles
Gold Coast Titans
Paul Broughton Medal

2013
Succeeded by
incumbent

References

  1. Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Greg Bird - Career Stats & Summary - Rugby League Project". Rugbyleagueproject.org.
  2. "Players - Love Rugby League". Loverugbyleague.com.
  3. "City league star's Aussie jersey". Maitland Mercury. Maitland Mercury. 17 July 2001. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  4. "SportingPulse Homepage for Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League". SportingPulse. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-01./db/player/b/bird_greg/index.php
  6. "Player Profile". Archived from the original on 7 October 2008.
  7. 1 2 3 "ABC Sport – Rugby League – Sharks lash Bird suspension".
  8. "Bird says sorry for 'cowardly act' but he's prepared to pay the price". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 April 2004.
  9. "ABC Sport – Rugby League – Bird gets 10 weeks for kneeing".
  10. "Crude texts less than model behaviour". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 March 2006.
  11. Greg Bird Archived 17 March 2005 at the Wayback Machine .
  12. Liam FitzGibbon (1 August 2008). "Surprises in Kangaroos squad". "Fox Sports News (Australia)". Archived from the original on 8 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  13. "Veteran Lockyer named in Australian squad". International Herald Tribune. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  14. Gee, Steve (25 August 2008). "Greg Bird allegedly blames Brent Watson for glassing Katie Milligan". Daily Telegraph. News Ltd. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  15. Honeysett, Stuart (25 August 2008). "Sharks' shame as Greg Bird bailed". Daily Telegraph. News Ltd. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  16. "Katie Milligan flies into arms of Cronulla Sharks' Greg Bird". news.com.au. News Ltd. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  17. Ramachandran, Arjun (29 September 2008). "Greg Bird faces mischief charge". The Sydney Morning Herald . Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  18. 1 2 Irvine, Christopher (14 February 2009). "Bradford Bull suffer as Greg Bird is refused visa". timesonline.co.uk . London. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  19. "Bulls confirm Bird signing". 17 January 2009. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  20. "Bird no longer a Shark". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2009.[ dead link ]
  21. Bird offered French lifeline Archived 5 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine .
  22. "SUTHERLAND Criminal Lists 13/03/2009". lawlink.nsw.gov.au. 13 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.[ dead link ]
  23. Kontominas, Bellinda (13 March 2009). "Greg Bird accused of nightclub assault". The Sydney Morning Herald . Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  24. "Greg Bird cleared of nightclub assault". The Daily Telegraph . 5 February 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  25. "Bird convicted over glass attack". BBC News. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  26. "Catalans to keep convicted Bird". BBC Sport. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  27. "Greg Bird jailed for 16 months". The Sydney Morning Herald . 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on 25 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  28. Kontominas, Bellinda (26 November 2009). "Bird free as judge unravels web of lies". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  29. "Greg Bird signs with Titans". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  30. "We don't want Greg Bird - Broncos". Dailytelegraph.com.au. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  31. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  32. Carayannis, Michael (8 November 2013). "Rugby League World Cup 2013: Greg Bird ready for hard yards". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  33. "Origin Interactive Player Ratings". 18 June 2014.
  34. "Greg Bird says public urination fine 'put dampener' on wedding weekend". 8 December 2014.
  35. "Bird's drugs charges dismissed but three former Titans to stand trial". 8 October 2015.
  36. Press, Australian Associated (22 February 2015). "Greg Bird and Dave Taylor stood down by Gold Coast Titans amid drug scandal". the Guardian.
  37. "Greg Bird fined over Byron Bay pub antics - Nine Wide World of Sports". Wwos.nine.com.au.
  38. "NRL: Greg Bird swipes Gold Coast Titans for 'pushing' him to Super League". 7 November 2016.