Greg Bird offered French lifeline - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Greg Bird offered French lifeline

04/03/2009 05:19:36 PM Comments (0)

Former Cronulla five-eighth Greg Bird has been given the blessing from the Sharks and NRL to resume his football career with French club Catalan Dragons in the English Super League.

After more than six months out of the game Bird looks set to finally resurrect his career in Europe, with the Dragons set to announce his signing on Wednesday.

Bird has not played since August 22, 2008, stood down by the Sharks after an alleged glassing incident with girlfriend Katie Milligan, and may make his first club appearance this weekend.

The NSW and Test star still faces criminal charges for causing grievous bodily harm and is due to appear in court in Sydney on April 27.

After being released by the Sharks in January Bird had agreed to a deal with Bradford Bulls, but was denied a UK working visa under tougher immigration laws along with fellow NRL stars Michael Crocker, Todd Carney and Greg Eastwood.

He has been in France for the past week negotiating a deal to join the Kevin Walters coached side that also includes former NRL stars Jason Ryles, Steven Bell and Dane Carlaw.

"We wish Greg all the very best," said Sharks CEO Tony Zappia.

"It was never a personal issue. Greg is a rugby league player and you want him playing rugby league.

"From the issue of the incident that occurred, he has obviously got to face his demons there and whatever lies ahead I don't know.

"If the English Super League want to register his contract then we as a club have no problem at all."

NRL chief executive David Gallop also said he had no problem if Super League registered Bird's contract.

"Cronulla reached an agreement with him and in those circumstances if the Rugby Football League are happy to have him playing the game then we don't have an issue with that," said Gallop.

Meanwhile Gallop said he was encouraged by reports Kiwi Test star Benji Marshall was closer to re-signing with the Wests Tigers and not heading to Japan to play rugby union in the offseason.

Gallop stood by his decision to veto Marshall's audacious plans to play both codes.

"We obviously want Benji to stay in rugby league and our position from day one has been if he has an ongoing commitment with the Wests Tigers he couldn't play rugby union in the offseason," he said.

"Equally, if he is truly off contract and has no ongoing current commitment then he is free to go and play rugby union.

"If he stays in rugby league that'll be a great result."

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