Bruise Brothers turn on each other - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bruise Brothers turn on each other

By Steve Jancetic 25/08/2010 05:26:25 PM Comments (0)

Together they were the 'Bruise Brothers' but at Toyota Park on Saturday night the family will turn on each other when Paul Gallen and Greg Bird go head to head for the first time.

The good mates will line-up on opposite sides of the field when Cronulla host Gold Coast.

Bird is returning to the Sutherland Shire for the first time since being sacked by the club after he was charged and later cleared of assaulting his girlfriend.

Despite having the clash marked down on his calendar, Gallen admitted to having some apprehension about taking on his former Sharks team-mate.

"I'm not overly looking forward to it - he's a good player," Gallen said.

"I won't be going out of my way to look for him and I'm sure he'll be the same.

"If we're in the same area and we get the ball we'll be into each other but other than that we're just going to play our normal game."

But normal for this pair is anything but placid, with both known for their rugged competitiveness and willingness to test the letter of the law with their play.

It is sure to be an emotional night for Bird, who was shown the door midway through 2008, returning to face the club at which he rose through the ranks to claim a Test jersey.

Despite the dramatic nature of his exit, Gallen said he expected Bird to be warmly welcomed by the Sharks faithful.

"Judging by some of the signs I've see around here this year he might get a pretty good one," Gallen said of the anticipated reaction by the Cronulla crowd.

"It might be one of the best homecomings for a bloke that's left a club in history."

Bird won't be the only ex-Shark coming back to Toyota Park, with Preston Campbell - who won a Dally M medal with the club in 2001 - and Mat Rogers also returning.

Rogers will join current Sharks Trent Barrett and Luke Covell in playing his last game at the ground, the trio to hang up their boots at the end of the season.

With the Sharks having struggled mightily the last two seasons, Gallen said he felt compelled to send Barrett out a winner after the former St George Illawarra playmaker arrived at the club expecting to challenge for the premiership.

"The great career he's had and what he's achieved, the way he's finished his last two seasons probably hasn't been something that he's deserved," Gallen said.

"Hopefully these last two games we can go out and play some good footy for him and to get a couple of wins would be the ultimate."

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