2017 NRL - Grant Trouville © NRL Photos

Blues to gamble on Bird

by Steve Zemek
AAP – for NRL.com

NSW are set to gamble on Jack Bird and use him at dummy-half during State of Origin I despite the Cronulla star having never played there.

Bird was selected on the Blues bench due to his ability to cover almost every position including the halves, fullback, centre, wing and second-row.

The Sharks centre is set to spell hooker Nathan Peats during Wednesday's game one at Suncorp Stadium.

He spent time at dummy-half, albeit limited, during Saturday's opposed training session.

"I haven't played there, that's probably the only position I haven't played," Bird said.

"That and front-row.

"If I have to play there, I will. I'm not sure how good I am there."

Bird, 22, has proved unflappable and adaptable since coming into grade, winning the Dally M rookie of the year award in 2015 after making a surprise switch to five-eighth.

He admitted to some nerves about playing dummy-half.

"I haven't spent too much time there but I'm guessing that's all you do, give your halves the ball and give the forwards the ball when they want it," Bird said.

"I guess it is pretty simple. But it's probably the hardest position."

Bird said Daley's plan for him was to slot into the back-row at some point but he knew that could be thrown out the window with an injury.

He said while he hadn't spent much time defending in the middle, he was prepared to do so should he be pushed into the forwards or dummy-half.

"It's probably the best hardest position on the field, it's pretty similar defensive-wise to lock," Bird said.

"You're going to make a few tackles there. I think I'll be right but I haven't played in the middle for a while. Hopefully I can get some tackles up and my fitness is up to standard."

***Article first appeared on NRL.com