Prodigal son Greg Bird would be welcomed back to the Cronulla Sharks with open arms, but the Gold Coast Titans are adamant the NSW State of Origin star and former Test five-eighth is happy where he is.
“I’d love him to come back,” said Sharks coach Shane Flanagan, who was an assistant to Ricky Stuart when the club sacked Bird in December 2008 after he was charged with recklessly wounding his then girlfriend Katie Milligan.
“We need that backrower-five-eighth combination that he does so well, along with his competitiveness.”
Bird was convicted of the charge in June 2009 but had it overturned on appeal.
He played in Europe that year before returning to the NRL when the Titans threw him a lifeline for last season.
But after the Sharks captain Paul Gallen told the NRL website this week he would like to see Bird return to the Sutherland Shire, Flanagan seconded the idea.
Titans chief executive Michael Searle said both he and coach John Cartwright had spoken with Bird and he had told them he enjoyed living on the Gold Coast and wanted to remain with the club.
He is unsigned for 2012.
The 27-year-old signed an unusual four-year deal with the Titans with an option in the club’s favour after each season.