New Broncos signing Jack Bird. Picture: Brisbane Broncos
New Broncos signing Jack Bird. Picture: Brisbane Broncos

‘Licence to thrill’: Bennett’s plan for star recruit Bird

RUGBY LEAGUE: Brisbane's star recruit Jack Bird is going to be unleashed in 2018, with the young gun revealing coach Wayne Bennett is set to give him a licence to roam.

While the 22-year-old will line-up in the centres - a position he once said was "boring" - Bird says he'll be given more freedom, similar to teammate James Roberts.

The NSW Origin star has arrived from Cronulla on a lucrative four-year deal, but is expected to miss the first month of the season due to off-season shoulder surgery.

Jack Bird will miss the first month of the season after shoulder surgery. Photo: Liam Kidston.
Jack Bird will miss the first month of the season after shoulder surgery. Photo: Liam Kidston.

"I think Wayne's going to give me a licence to roam around the field a little bit," Bird told Fox Sports.

"I think I'll be playing in the centres - you see 'Jimmy the Jet' roam around the field a little bit more often than what other centres do, so hopefully I get the licence to do that as well and pop up wherever I want to be on the footy field.

"I feel like coming to the Broncos was the right move and it's going to give me a bit of freedom on the paddock."

There was plenty of speculation as to where Bird would line-up in the Broncos side when he first put pen to paper with them.

The livewire won Dally M rookie of the year in 2015 playing at five-eighth for Sharks, before he shifted to the centres when the club signed James Maloney.

Last season he featured at fullback on a handful of occasions, while he also has plenty of back row experience from his junior days at St George Illawarra.

Josh McGuire is expected to start the season at lock. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
Josh McGuire is expected to start the season at lock. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

"I'm probably a centre now and I'll just stick to the centres in the meantime," Bird said.

"Hopefully once I get a little bit bigger and stronger I might move in a little bit closer to the ball.

"We've got 'Moose' (Josh McGuire) there (at lock) now.

"When I first came to the club, I told 'Moose' I didn't want to take his spot. Whatever was in the papers were just rumours, and he was happy with that.

"In the near future I'm not too sure what position I'll be playing, but I'm happy to play centres in the meantime.

"That freedom, I'm just looking forward to that."

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett oversees training. Photo: Peter Wallis
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett oversees training. Photo: Peter Wallis

After three seasons and a premiership, Bird admitted it was difficult decision to leave Cronulla and move north of the Tweed.

"It was pretty tough at the start to make a big decision like this," he said.

"I think I transitioned myself pretty well when I first got there.

"As we all know the Broncos are a solid club so I felt immediately welcome.

"Emotionally, I wasn't too bad. I was a bit upset leaving Cronulla because a few of my close mates are there.

"I guess it's just like another job, you've got to leave one sooner or later.

"It was a decision I had to make, and I'm happy and it feels good now."



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