An unfazed Greg Bird says he will revel in wooden-spoon favourites Gold Coast’s lowly status until the Titans receive the respect they deserve in the 2016 NRL season.
Titans officials are yet to decide whether to rest Bird for Saturday night’s final trial against a Greg Inglis-led South Sydney, also featuring Sam Burgess, at Pizzey Park.
Bird received stitches after a nasty head knock with Kane Evans in the Indigenous team’s 12-8 loss to the World All Stars last weekend in Brisbane.
But it did not stop Bird talking up the Titans on Tuesday.
Gold Coast have impressed with a NRL Auckland Nines semi-finals appearance and an exciting pre-season draw with an in-form Parramatta.
But the Titans are still the bookies’ favourites to finish last this season – not that it has bothered Bird.
“I enjoy being written off this early,” he told reporters.
“I guess we can get a few wins early on and slip under the radar.
“I am definitely not writing off the 2016 season and I know my teammates aren’t.
“We will keep working hard and, hopefully, halfway through the season, people will start giving our team the respect they deserve.”
Gold Coast finished third last in 2015 after a drama-charged season in which they failed to snare back-flipping Manly playmaker Daly Cherry-Evans and were caught up in a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission probe into an alleged drug ring.
The Titans copped another blow on Tuesday when prop Luke Douglas received a one-match ban for a careless high tackle in their 20-20 draw with Nines champions the Eels in Alice Springs.
However, a Titans official said Douglas was still available to play Saturday night’s home trial against the Rabbitohs.
Gold Coast will confirm their trial squad on Wednesday.
Titans officials are yet to give Bird the green light.
But he hoped to run out in the Gold Coast’s strongest pre-season line-up yet.