Bird wary of desperate Rhinos

During his 15-year professional career, Greg Bird has seen most things Rugby League has to offer.

As a result, the Australian international insists there is no chance he will allow Catalans to take an out of sorts Leeds side lightly on Friday at risk of facing the Rhinos’ wrath.

Bird, 33, has been a lynchpin in Catalans’ early season success, which has seen them remain unbeaten in their opening three games of the season.

The only blemish on their record was a draw at home to Widnes last week, a result that left the former Cronulla and Gold Coast forward frustrated.

However, the New South Wales representative insists that setback could potentially become a positive for the Dragons, with any potential early-season complacency now out of the window ahead of their trip to Headingley.

“It was a bit of a wake-up call I guess,” he said.

“Leeds probably haven’t been in the best form since last season. They had a big change in personnel in a short space of time. But they’ve still got a lot of stars there and if you take them too lightly you’ll get punished. We won’t be taking them lightly.

“We’ll be making sure everyone is in the right frame of mind to come up against some superstars of the game. They might not be in the best form at the moment, but they have some great players in that Leeds team, and if they start clicking everyone has seen over the last 10 years what they can do.”

Individually, Bird has enjoyed a strong start to the campaign and is currently joint second in the Albert Goldthorpe Medal standings, behind Castleford’s Luke Gale.

However, Bird insists he has no time for individual targets and is instead focused on helping the Dragons make the big leap towards trophies.

“My goals are to get this team in a top-four position and a Grand Final spot. Anything beyond that is a bonus.

“There’s been a lot of younger, single guys over here the last few years. There are some older heads that have got families now and hopefully our experience can steer these young French guys because I think there’s a lot of talent in the French guys as well.

“Not just the young lads, but guys that have been here a while like Remi (Casty), Julian Bousquet, Benny Garcia. There are some talented guys and with that added experience we can take that extra step this year.”