Australian and NSW State of Origin back-rower Greg Bird’s NRL career is seemingly over, after he was released from the final year of his Gold Coast contract to join Catalans Dragons in the English Super League.
The Titans met the 32-year-old’s request for a release on Wednesday night, before the 235-game NRL veteran joined the French-based club on a five-year deal.
Bird played for the Dragons in 2009, after they resurrected his career following his sacking from Cronulla at the end of the 2008 season.
“I had always intended to return to the Dragons and promised (Catalans chairman) Bernard (Guasch) I would come back and win a premiership,” Bird said.
“They reached out to me and offered me a long-term deal this week which I was only too happy to agreed to.”
Bird’s exit from the Titans comes after he was believed to have found himself under the eye of NSW Police and the NRL’s intergrity unit last month, following an alleged incident at a Brunswick Heads pub where he was denied entry.
He later took to social media to deny any wrongdoing in the matter, where he claimed he ran in to break up a scuffle between a friend and security.
A co-captain with Nate Myles in 2013 and 2014, he was stripped of the position after he was caught urinating near an unmarked police car in late-2014, also in the Byron Bay region, leaving him on his last chance at the Titans.
He played 129 games for the club on his return from France and helped the Titans to the finals in his first and last seasons there in 2010 and 2016.
“No one can doubt the commitment Greg has played with throughout his career whether it be for his club, his state or his country,” Titans chief executive Graham Annesley said.
“He is a fierce competitor and always gives 100 per cent which is why his teammates at all levels love playing alongside him.”
Bird played 18 Origin games and 17 Tests, but was dropped from both Origin and Test sides this year.