Gold Coast lock Greg Bird says matching up against mates such as Parramatta’s Anthony Watmough is what makes rugby league special.
The Titans’ forward will line up against his NSW teammate in Saturday’s NRL clash against the Eels at Parramatta and says Watmough is in career-best form following his off-season switch from Manly.
Saturday’s game will be Bird’s fourth since he and the four other Titans embroiled in a cocaine saga had their club-imposed suspensions lifted.
Having taken on close mate Paul Gallen in the Titans’ last away game, Bird says getting the chance for bragging rights is one of the most exciting things he gets from his footy career.
“He’s been leading them, and leading them strongly,” Bird told AAP.
“I’m definitely looking forward to taking on Choccy, he’s a good mate of mine and I think you always give that little bit extra when you’re playing against your mates.
“You respect them, but you know what’s coming because you’ve seen them do it for years – you’ve just got to stop it.”
Bird has shown little sign of his early-season layoff affecting his form, shining against his former Sharks before another strong display in last weekend’s 26-16 loss to Brisbane.
He says getting back to his day job along with teammates Beau Falloon, Dave Taylor, Jamie Dowling and Kalifa Faifai Loa has been the best possible outcome after a month of uncertainty.
All five are facing a variety of charges for cocaine supply and possession after being implicated in a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigation.
Bird says despite the matter being set to return to court on May 8, he and his teammates are just focused on their job at hand.
“It’s the last thing on our minds at the moment … the troubles of a few weeks back,” Bird said.
“Back playing football, back doing what we love and the only thing I’m thinking about is Parramatta at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday.”