Bored Shark Bird gets five-eighth shot

The Bird is bored no more.

Less than a month after complaining of a lack of ball on the flanks at Cronulla, Jack Bird has been granted his wish of playing at halfback for Country in this Sunday’s annual clash against City.

The 21-year-old claimed he was taken out of context when he described his time in the centres as “boring”, but still couldn’t hide a long-time desire to play in the halves on Monday.

This week, his wish came true.

“I wasn’t really meaning I was bored in the centres, I was just trying to get to the point that if I’m not getting the ball in my hands I’m not playing my best footy,” Bird told AAP.

“This gives me the opportunity on the weekend to get the ball in my hands and play my best football.”

Bird said his preference was to have the number six on his back.

“There was a bit of talking going on there, about fullback. Now, fullback and five-eighth is pretty much the same position. Different defensive position-wise, but all in all, it’s similar,” he said.

“I’d prefer five-eighth though. Just getting the ball in my hands and trying to do what I do best – I’m excited this week to do that.”

Despite a strong season at pivot in his debut season last year, the Sharks star has been a revelation on the edge in the Shire this year.

Averaging over 100 metres a game and tallying 27 tackle busts through their first nine games, Bird has been a strong contributor to the club’s push to equal first on the table.

And with six wins on the bounce, including Sunday’s win over previous ladder leaders Brisbane, Bird believes this could finally be the year the Sharks break their premiership duck.

“Brisbane were leading the comp until we played them yesterday and now we’re all on top together, so it does give us a little belief,” he said.

“The Sharks haven’t won a grand final ever, so I think this year’s a good chance of doing it. But we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. We’ve got to take it week by week.”

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