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Ex-Australian international reveals silver lining of rejected English visa

F0rmer Australian international Greg Bird had two stints in Super League, both with Catalans Dragons, but he’s revealed how different it could have been.

Bird first played for the Perpignan side in 2009 and stayed for just 0ne year before returning in 2017 for a three-year stint.

During that second spell with the club he helped them win the Challenge Cup as the Dragons emerged as true contenders within Super League.

However it was the first period in Super League that could have been so incredibly different he’s revealed.

Speaking on James Graham’s Bye Round podcast he’s explained how he almost signed for Bradford Bulls back in 2009, rather than Catalans.

“I did one year the first time in ’09 and then I went back for ’17, ’18, ’19 and then coached for two years,” Bird stated detailing his time in the Europe/

“I loved it, to think I could have been stuck in Bradford if I had got that contract the first time.

“A couple of years after that they struggles but yeah I couldn’t get an English visa so I got a French visa instead and bypassed beautiful Bradford for the South of France.”

The contract that Bird is referring to “the first time” was with the Bulls, one he signed on the same day as being released by Cronulla Sharks.

Bird had been released by the Sharks over an investigation into him regarding a possible altercation with his then girlfriend but those legal issues led to the UK government knocking back his work permit.

Consequently he linked up with the Dragons with whom he enjoyed a successful one-year spell before returning seven years later.

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