Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Jack Bird has resurrected his NRL career at the St George Illawarra Dragons after being plagued by injury during his time at the Brisbane Broncos.
He would play in just 17 games for the Broncos over two years after signing a big-money contract with the club.
Bird’s reputation was tarnished as a result with many assuming that he would be unable to make an effective comeback after so many setbacks.
The Wollongong native has since proved many of the doubters wrong since moving to the Dragons last season.
Not only did Bird remain fit in 2021, but he also changed the way he played when shifting into the second-row.
He has arguably never been better and could see himself playing State of Origin again shortly; however, if Bird does make a return to representative Rugby League he may not do so while playing for the Dragons as The Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield is reporting that Bird has turned down the club’s latest contract offer and is looking to test his worth on the open market.
“Jack Bird’s career at the St George Illawarra Dragons is at the crossroads following a breakdown in contract-extension talks,” said Rothfield.
“Unhappy at being asked to take a significant pay cut, Bird and his agent David Riolo have decided to immediately test the open market for 2023 and onwards.”
Riolo has also commented on the situation, revealing to Rothfield that his client’s talks with the Dragons have become stagnant.
“They made an offer before Christmas, we had a few meetings, but nothing’s happened,” Riolo said.
“We’re not at each other but the talks have stalled. We’re on different pages at the moment.”
Rothfield has also reported that two clubs, in particular, are interested in signing Bird following the breakdown in negotiations with the Dragons.
— St George Illawarra Dragons (@NRL_Dragons) March 12, 2022
Wayne Bennett has reportedly held discussions with Bird about a possible move to the NRL’s newest franchise The Dolphins next season.
The Dolphins have a forward pack that is shaping up nicely but have only signed one NRL experienced back in Jamayne Isaako which means that if Bird did put pen to paper with Bennett’s side he would likely be moved back into the centres.
Parramatta is also believed to be keeping an eye on the situation, but there is currently no word on whether or not they are actively pursuing him at this time