Bird still has some hurdles to clear - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bird still has some hurdles to clear

By Laine Clark 29/04/2009 02:42:33 PM Comments (0)

If the English rugby league boss does not disrupt sacked NRL star Greg Bird's football plans, injury might.

Bird's Super League club Catalans Dragons are hurriedly organising a flight back to France to assess the recovering ex-Test pivot after he was found guilty of glassing his girlfriend in the face and lying about the incident to police.

He will be sentenced in Sydney on June 22.

Bird's legal counsel indicated they would appeal against the conviction in the NSW Supreme Court.

However, the Dragons fear Bird is in "serious doubt" for this weekend's much-hyped clash in Scotland with champions Leeds due to an abductor injury.

He suffered the injury in the Dragons' 38-6 win over Salford almost a fortnight ago.

While keen to hear the Dragons medical staff's assessment, Bird will also be sweating on an official response from Rugby Football League CEO Richard Lewis.

As seen in the NRL following the fallout over the Manly season launch debacle, the RLF could ask the Dragons to stand down Bird.

However, a precedent has been set with England five-eighth Leon Pryce and ex-Test winger Stuart Reardon allowed to continue playing in the Super League after being convicted of assault last week.

But there could still be problems with Bird entering England for Dragons away matches following his conviction.

Despite the question marks hanging over the pivot's head, Bird's manager Gavin Orr said his client had adopted a "business as usual" approach.

Orr said a supportive Dragons had told Bird that they would organise a flight back to Europe as soon as possible.

"They have spoken to him. They have indicated they will support him," Orr told AAP.

"There is a process now that his legal counsel are following.

"While that happens it is business as usual."

Asked about Bird's fitness, Orr sounded optimistic of his client's chances of chiming into Monday (AEST)'s match against the Rhinos, part of the Super League's Magic Weekend showcase at Edinburgh.

"He says if he reckons he is right to go, he will be playing," Orr said.

But Orr was tight-lipped on Bird's assault case.

"His legal counsel are taking care of Greg's case. I am leaving that to them - I don't want to discuss Greg's case at all," he said.

Dragons general manager Christophe Levy appeared anxious about Bird's fitness.

"We will do our best to get him back as soon as possible," Levy told UK reporters.

"We are still searching for flights.

"We want our doctor and physio to check him out."

Bird is contracted with the Dragons until the end of the Super League season.

The Dragons threw Bird a lifeline after he was stood down by the NRL's Cronulla Sharks then denied a working visa to take up a three-year deal with Super League club Bradford.

The five-eighth was surprisingly appointed Dragons captain by coach Kevin Walters after just two games off the bench.

He led the Dragons to four straight wins - but they recently lost 44-10 to Hull KR in his absence.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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