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Bird set for Broncos fullback audition

Bird_set_for_Broncos_fullback_audition.jpg

Competition for Brisbane's No.1 jersey is set to heat up after coach Anthony Seibold revealed he was considering unleashing fit-again Jack Bird at fullback in the 2020 NRL season.

Jamayne Isaako appeared to be the clear favourite to become Brisbane's custodian this year with Bird set to be slotted into the centres after the ex-Cronulla premiership winner overcame a serious knee injury.

But Seibold said he would run the rule over Bird's fullback claims at Saturday's trial against Queensland Cup outfit CQ Capras in Rockhampton after the ex-NSW Origin star finished the pre-season strongly in the position.

"We want to see competition for spots," Seibold told the Broncos website.

"I have spoken to Jamayne Isaako (about it). He's spent a lot of time at fullback and also Birdy (in pre-season).

"At the back end of the pre-season we saw some bits and pieces of Birdy that I thought were really well suited for him to give a good account of himself in that position."

Bird started the pre-season well down on the fullback pecking order with Isaako's No.1 claims initially threatened by impressive Gold Coast Titans recruit Jesse Arthars.

Bird has only played three of his 83 NRL games at fullback and last donned the No.1 jersey back in round four of the 2017 season for the Sharks.

But Seibold said he had seen enough to give Bird a shot at the position in the ex-Sharks X-factor's first game back from his season-ending knee injury.

"He will play around 30 minutes in that position (in Rockhampton)," Seibold said of Bird, who broke down in round nine last year.

"It's a starting point for him coming back from a long-term injury but he has looked good especially from an attacking point of view, but he has also got a good understanding of footy defensively as well.

"He's made some good strides there ... so Birdy gets an opportunity."

With Isaako contesting the NRL Nines this week, Bird will be out to impress against the Capras after a frustrating stint at Red Hill to date.

The 24-year-old has played just 17 games in two seasons at the Broncos due to injury.

Bird will be part of a strong Broncos trial squad in Rockhampton that will also feature former captain Darius Boyd, Andrew McCullough, Joe Ofahengaue, Tevita Pangai and Pat Carrigan.

© AAP 2020