Bird open to fullback switch
Sharks centre Jack Bird hasn't ruled out a switch to fullback if teammate Valentine Holmes fails to recover from the grade two hamstring strain he suffered in his side's 30-12 trial loss to the Broncos on Saturday night.
Holmes was the favourite to replace rugby union bound Ben Barba in the No.1 jersey but faces three to four weeks on the sidelines and is in doubt for the Round 1 season opener against the Broncos to kick off the Telstra Premiership season.
The 21-year-old was not included in Cronulla's 20-man squad for the World Club Challenge against Wigan on February 19, with Sharks coach Shane Flanagan set to go with either Bird or Gerard Beale at the back.
Bird has never played fullback at NRL level but did feature there during the 2016 pre-season.
"I haven't really thought about it. If it comes up, it comes up. If 'Flanno' ends up putting me at fullback, I'll take the role on," Bird said in Newcastle ahead of Friday night's All Stars clash.
"We've got Gerard Beale there as well that can fill into that position. I'm sure Flanno has got a choice in mind and we'll just have to wait and see what he does.
"I had two trials there [in 2016]. It wasn't too bad. It was obviously my first time playing there at a high level.
"I really enjoyed it, but like I said, I'm sure Flanno has got something in mind that he's going to do. If he puts me there, he puts me there, and I'm happy to play there. If not, I guess I'll be stuck out in the centres."
Bird had spent some time at fullback during off-season training while Holmes was away on Four Nations duty and admitted he enjoyed the freedom that comes with the role.
"You get involved a little bit more than you do in the centres," he said.
"You sweep on both sides of the ruck, you get involved and there's a bit more workload, and I'm happy enough to do that. You get your hands on the ball a little bit more, so if I do get that fullback role then I'm looking forward to it."