Former NSW Blues utility Jack Bird is eyeing a return to the centres next season, having vowed to get back to his Origin form.

After his 2023 season was hampered by injuries to his shoulder and knees and inconsistent form, Bird revealed that he told incoming coach Shane Flanagan he wants to play in the centres next season - a position he played for the Sharks in the 2016 Grand Final.

While he may have played in the centres in the past, he has been predominantly used in the second row or at lock at the club since he joined three seasons ago.

As Zac Lomax is likely to contend with Tyrell Sloan for the fullback spot, Bird could very well partner Tongan international Moses Suli in the centres.

"I've played my best footy under Flanno at centre, so that's where I want to play,” Bird said via NRL.com

"Especially with how my body is these days, I want to pick my moments.

"Obviously I haven't played centre in a long time, so I have to work hard. I'm feeling fast enough to play centre. I'm feeling faster than I was last year, that's for sure.”

"I have had a few conversations about what my role is going to be and I'm going to have to train hard to make the squad,” Bird added.

"No one is guaranteed a position and so I just have to keep training hard and wherever I end up, I end up. I've been training at centre and in the back row, but I would like to get away from the forwards and get back to the backs.

"Zac has been training at centre as well and we've been chopping and changing. I think Zac can play anywhere on the field, so if I play in the centres put him in the backrow.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 13: Robbie Farah of the Blues, Jack Bird of the Blues and Wade Graham of the Blues sing the national anthem before game three of the State Of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on July 13, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Although he has played five Origin games for the NSW Blues, Bird was dropped down to the NSW Cup last season for two weeks due to inconsistent form.

As he gets set to return to full contact training, Bird hopes Flanagan will be able to get him back to his outstanding form during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

"Last year was last year. Stuff happens. It was probably a good wake-up call. I want to play first grade, I don't want to play reserve grade,” he said.

"I think I'm a first grader and getting dropped back there ... hopefully this year is going to be a better year for myself and the team, and I think Flanno can bring the best out of me so I don't get dropped again.

“I enjoy being coached by Flanno. It's been refreshing. Me and Flanno get on pretty well, we can chat, we can joke, there's no BS with him.

"You can't stuff around with Flanno, he'll get up you -  especially me, he gets up me all the time.”