Jack Bird desires to make his NRL return at left centre for St George Illawarra after getting by means of his first match in nearly 12 months unscathed.
Bird performed 25 minutes as deliberate in the Dragons’ 28-6 pre-season loss to Parramatta, however crucially left the floor with no issues over his knee.
The 25-year-old has not performed an NRL match since Might 2019 at Brisbane, earlier than lacking the remainder of that season with a sternum injury.
He returned in a single trial at fullback for Brisbane final February, however went down on the eve of the first spherical with a second ACL injury in three years.
Bird has largely skilled in the second row at the Dragons, however instructed coach Anthony Griffin final week he would relatively ease again to match health at centre.
The transfer has additionally coincided with the membership’s determination not to pursue Israel Folau, leaving Brayden Wiliame as the different choice at left centre.
“I instructed Hook (Anthony Griffin) I might relatively play centre,” Bird mentioned.
“He requested why and I mentioned I had performed centre at the Sharks for 2 years and obtained used to it and moulded myself to it. It’s in all probability too early for me to soar in the center.
“Hook was attempting to assist my knee out a bit by (not) doing lateral actions and steps (in the center), however I’m not a lot of a stepper anyway.
“That may come at some point once I get a little bit of confidence in my knees.”
Bird expects to play extra there in subsequent week’s Charity Defend, however his transient involvements have been promising on Thursday night time at Kogarah.
He laid on a break in the lead up to the Dragons’ solely attempt, forcing an error with a tough hit earlier than placing Mat Feagai down field with a slick underarm go.
Fellow new recruit Andrew McCullough additionally obtained by means of 20 minutes with out concern, in his first recreation again since a hamstring tendon rupture final July.
Will Smith impressed for Parramatta, scoring one attempt and establishing one other in his push for the membership’s No.14 jersey earlier than the match was known as with 11 minutes to go.
Oregon Kaufusi additionally scored one attempt and Isaiah Papalií was additionally highly effective, with either side operating groups of gamers who had restricted first-grade publicity final yr.
In the solely actual injury concern, Eels recruit Michael Oldfield suffered a knee injury after simply 12 minutes which may damage his push to declare a centre spot.