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Bird released from contract with Sharks

16/01/2009 07:49:15 PM Comments (0)

Greg Bird will not play in the National Rugby League this season after Cronulla on Friday released the former Test player from his contract.

After months of speculation, the former State of Origin star's fate was announced in a joint statement by the player's management and the Sharks.

Bird, on a contract of $360,000 per year, was stood down by the football club last August after allegedly assaulting his American girlfriend Katie Milligan.

He is due to face court again on April 27 on charges of reckless wounding, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and two charges of lying to police.

Bird has maintained his innocence and Milligan has stood by him throughout the ordeal.

"The two parties have today signed off on a document (Deed of Release) which releases both the Sharks and Greg Bird from their respective contractual obligations and arrangements," the statement said.

"While the terms of the release are confidential, it can be confirmed that included in the conditions Greg Bird will not register an NRL contract for 2009 nor play for another NRL club during the 2009 season.

"The Sharks, Greg Bird and his management have agreed that following this press statement no further public comment will be made in relation to the details of the release."

Cronulla had reportedly planned to sack Bird last December but a late submission from his legal representatives thwarted that plan.

He dodged another bullet later that month when the Sharks board again decided to postpone a decision on the matter.

The exercise proved costly for Cronulla, with Bird still receiving payment despite not training with the team.

It is understood the club has paid out more than $100,000 since he was stood down by the football club last August.

There has been speculation he will seek to join either Wigan or Warrington in Britain's Super League.

Former Test lock Reni Maitua joined the Sharks from the Bulldogs earlier this month and is seen as a ready-made replacement for Bird.

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