|Full name||Gregory James Howard Bird|
|Born||10 February 1984|
Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||102 kg (16 st 1 lb)|
|Position||Lock, Second-row, Five-eighth|
As of 7 September 2019
Greg Bird (born 10 February 1984) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a loose forward , stand-off or second-row forward for the Catalans Dragons in the Super League. He is an Australia international.
Rugby league is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field measuring 68m wide and 112-122m long. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.
Five-eighth or Stand-off is one of the positions in a rugby league football team. Wearing jersey number 6, this player is one of the two half backs in a team, partnering the scrum-half. Sometimes known as the pivot or second receiver, in a traditional attacking 'back-line'. play the five-eighth would receive the ball from the scrum half, who is the first receiver of the ball from the dummy-half or hooker following a tackle.
The Catalans Dragons are a professional rugby league club based in Perpignan, Pyrénées-Orientales, France and represent Catalonia. They play in the Super League. They have also played home matches in Barcelona, attracting a Super League regular season record crowd of 31,555 against the Wigan Warriors at the Nou Camp in 2019. They are the only team in the competition from outside England. The Dragons play home games at Stade Gilbert Brutus. They are the current Challenge Cup holders, and the first non British team to win it since the competition started in 1896, after beating Warrington Wolves 20–14 at Wembley Stadium on 25 August 2018.
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 French club in 2009. He is a NSW Country, New South Wales State of Origin, Prime Minister's XIII and Indigenous All Stars representative.
The Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks are an Australian professional rugby league team based in Cronulla, in the Sutherland Shire, Southern Sydney, New South Wales. They compete in the National Rugby League (NRL), Australasia's premier rugby league competition. The Sharks, as they are commonly known, were admitted to the New South Wales Rugby League premiership, predecessor of the Australian Rugby League and the current National Rugby League competition, in January 1967. The club competed in every premiership season since then and, during the Super League war, joined the rebel competition before continuing on in the re-united NRL Premiership. The Sharks have been in competition for 50 years, appearing in four grand finals, winning their first premiership in 2016 after defeating the Melbourne Storm at ANZ Stadium.
The Gold Coast Titans are a professional rugby league football club, based on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The club competes in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership, Australia's elite rugby league competition. It is the newest of the sixteen clubs in the league, having commenced its inaugural season on 18 March 2007. Since 2008, the Titans have played their home games at Cbus Super Stadium in Robina, Queensland.
The New South Wales rugby league team has represented the Australian state of New South Wales in rugby league football since the sport's beginnings there in 1907. Also known as the Blues due to their sky blue jerseys, the team competes in the annual State of Origin series against neighbouring state, the Queensland rugby league team. This annual event is a series of three games competing for the State of Origin shield. As of 2019, the team is coached by Brad Fittler and captained by Boyd Cordner.
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.
Maitland is a city in the Lower Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia and the seat of Maitland City Council, situated on the Hunter River approximately 166 kilometres (103 mi) by road north of Sydney and 35 km (22 mi) north-west of Newcastle. It is on the New England Highway about 17 km (11 mi) from its start at Hexham.
The Newcastle Knights are an Australian professional rugby league club based in Newcastle, New South Wales. They compete in Australasia's premier rugby league competition, the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership. Playing in red and blue, the Knights joined the top tier competition in 1988, 79 years after the previous Newcastle based team, the Newcastle Rebels had departed the Sydney competition with the formation of a separate league competition based in the Newcastle region.
Harold Matthews was an Australian rules footballer who played with St Kilda in the VFL.
In round 7 of the 2002 NRL season, Bird made his NRL debut for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.In 2003, he became a regular first-grader for the Sharks.
The 2002 NRL season was the 95th season of professional rugby league football in Australia and the fifth to be run by the National Rugby League. The season was affected by the competition-leading Bulldogs' salary cap breach finding, which saw them relegated to the bottom of the NRL ladder. As a result, the New Zealand Warriors won their first minor premiership and made it to the grand final for the first time, playing against foundation club the Sydney Roosters who won the match and collected their first premiership in 27 years.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are an Australian professional rugby league football club based in Belmore, a suburb in the Canterbury-Bankstown region of Sydney. They compete in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership, as well as the New South Wales Rugby League junior competitions.
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.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." 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". 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. After the game Bird apologised to Marteene in the dressing rooms and also wrote letters to the player and the South Sydney Rabbitohs club.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are a professional Australian rugby league team based in Redfern, a suburb of inner-southern Sydney, New South Wales. They participate in the National Rugby League (NRL) premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital. They are often called Souths and The Bunnies.
Shane Marteene is a former professional rugby league footballer who played for the Canterbury Bulldogs, South Sydney Rabbitohs and St. George Illawarra Dragons as a wing and centre.
A referee or simply ref is the person of authority in a variety of sports who is responsible for presiding over the game from a neutral point of view and making on-the-fly decisions that enforce the rules of the sport, including sportsmanship decisions such as ejection. The official tasked with this job may be known, in addition to referee, by a variety of other titles as well, including official, umpire, judge, arbiter, arbitrator, linesman, commissaire, timekeeper, touch judge or Technical Official.
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."
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.
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.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.In September 2008, Bird's legal representative was advised that Bird would be facing additional charges of public mischief and false accusation. The charges against Bird led to the British Government denying him a work permit to take up a playing position with Bradford Bulls.
On 17 January 2009, Bird signed a 1-year contract with the Bradford Bulls starting in the same yearafter being released from his contract with the Sharks the day before. However, he was unable to play for the Bulls as his visa was denied. 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.
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.This matter was not related to the case involving his girlfriend. His accuser was found to have been the aggressor in the incident and Bird was cleared of all charges by the magistrate. 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. 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. On 22 June 2009, he was sentenced to a maximum of 16 months imprisonment.
On appeal in November 2009, Bird was acquitted of the charges, after both he and his girlfriend gave evidence to support his claims.
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.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.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.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.
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."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. 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. 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."
(* denotes season still competing)
First Grade Debut – 28 April 2002
City vs. Country Debut – 3 May 2007
State of Origin Debut – 13 June 2007
Australian Test Debut – 21 October 2007
Club Debut – 7 March 2009
Club Debut – 14 March 2010
| Captain |
Gold Coast Titans
2013 – 2016
| Gold Coast Titans |
Paul Broughton Medal
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