Bird still racing in Titans’ captain’s run

Gold Coast coach Neil Henry says he’s closing in on announcing the NRL club’s new captain and Greg Bird remains a candidate.

Bird was stripped of the club’s co-captaincy in December 2014 after being issued with a criminal infringement notice for urinating on a police car during his wedding celebrations in Byron Bay.

The NSW and Australia representative’s card was further marked when caught up in the cocaine scandal that rocked the Titans at the start of last year’s NRL campaign.

Nate Myles took on a solo leadership role in 2015 but his departure for Manly means Henry is seeking a new skipper.

Daniel Mortimer will lead the Titans at this weekend’s NRL Auckland Nines but Henry says Bird is one of several candidates for the full-time gig.

“There’s no doubt he’s a leader on the field irrespective of whether he’s the captain and he always has been,” Henry said on Wednesday.

“Our senior guys need to be those leaders on the field. Nathan Friend’s no different, Zeb Taia, David Shillington – all those guys have got experience and need to step up.

“I think you’ll find, irrespective of (captaincy) Birdy’s gonna be that leader on the field anyway.”

Henry did however admit Bird’s record had to be considered when a leadership role was being decided.

“Things aren’t forgotten about because there was ramifications from it,” he said.

“The club went through a very difficult period.

“Decisions have to be made around what’s acceptable and what we tolerate as well.”

Henry is also refusing to rule out naming co-captains.

With several new faces at the club considered to be in the running such as Nathan Friend, Chris MacQueen and David Shillington – Henry said that scenario was an ideal solution.

“That could happen. A lot of clubs have co-captain models,” he said.

“Someone like Friendy for example, he’s been here before anyway, so certainly he comes into consideration for that role.”

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