Greg Bird’s increased influence in Gold Coast’s attacking play so far this NRL season is no accident.
The Titans’ back-rower says he’s been allowed to ditch his enforcer role in 2016 for a more-creative one, adding an extra ball-playing option to coach Neil Henry’s arsenal.
The tactical switch is already paying dividends, with Bird setting up three tries in Gold Coast’s opening two matches of the campaign.
Bird’s experience as a playmaker includes 59 NRL appearances at five-eighth.
He’s even worn the No.6 for the Kangaroos and NSW in the past.
While he remains the Titans’ lock, Bird admits he’s been allowed to get more on the ball this year.
“I’m enjoying what I’m doing,” Bird said.
“I’ve been stuck on the edge a little bit the last couple of years in the back row and I’m enjoying playing a bit more of a ball-playing role at lock forward.
“It is a little bit different to what’s expected of a lock forward over the last couple of years. Hopefully, with the change of having that extra ball player around the ruck is only going to be of benefit to us.”
Bird is also hoping his new role might bring an extra edge to the Blues’ options come State of Origin time.
For now however, the 31-year-old says he’s just content being on NSW coach Laurie Daley’s radar.
“I always hope that I’m a part of that squad but you don’t really know when you’re coming into your early 30s. You might be on the outside,” he said.
“It’s good but I’ve got to continue my form.”