Unfinished business brought Bird home
Greg Bird has revealed his return to the NRL in 2010 was inspired by a desire to play more representative football as he prepares to play his 100th game for the Titans on Saturday.
When Bird takes to the field against the Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium he will become the 13th Titan to reach a century of games and just the 18th player in rugby league history to play 100 games for two different clubs after chalking up 106 games for the Sharks from 2002-2008.
Bird spent a year in the English Super League playing for the Catalans Dragons in 2009 and was tempted to continue his career there but said some unfinished business in the representative arena enticed him to come back to the NRL with the Titans.
Titans founder Michael Searle and coach John Cartwright approached Bird about joining the club for their fourth season in the NRL and the 31-year-old said the appeal of living on the Gold Coast and reigniting his rep career were the major factors that brought him home.
"I was just looking for an avenue back into the NRL really," Bird said. "I had a good season over in France and Michael Searle and 'Carty' brought me back in.
"I enjoyed my time in France. The money was good and it was quite an easy, happy-go-lucky lifestyle over there in the south of France and [staying in France] was definitely an option for me. The rep season, they're the things I didn't think I'd finished with where I was in the NRL.
"I hadn't won an Origin series, which I have now which is great. They're the things you don't get the opportunity to play when you're in the Super League."
A member of the Kangaroos team defeated by New Zealand in the 2014 Four Nations final last year, Bird has now played 15 Tests for Australia and 16 Origin matches for New South Wales and has no intention of stepping aside for any young up-and-comers.
The Kangaroos and Kiwis will meet again on May 1 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane with Bird hopeful that he and other members of the Four Nations squad will be given a chance to make amends.
"I'd loved to be picked for the Test match. The rep season is always a highlight and the first game is the Anzac Test so fingers crossed he (Kanagroos coach Tim Sheens) goes with incumbency," said Bird.
"My form has been all right so hopefully I can get in there with those guys because there are a lot of guys with a point to prove and hopefully a few guys back from injury who missed out on the Four Nations last year.
"Every Test you play is a match for your country. You want to be going out there and giving your best in the green and gold and I'm sure those guys are the same in the black.
"They got one over us last year and everyone in the Australian squad will be doing their best to get that title back."
Of his 99 games for the club to date Bird nominated the 28-16 win over the Warriors in their 2010 Qualifying Final as the most memorable to date and remains confident the 2015 model is moving towards similar success.
"It was played at Skilled Park a few years back and put us through to a Preliminary [Final] and that was probably one of the best games we've played. Hopefully we can get back to that stage," Bird said of the win over the Warriors.
"We're starting to get a bit more consistency in our game and I think you can see that. We've been improving but we need to string two wins together now and that's the first step."