The 23-year-old is facing a make-or-break season. (AAP Image/Darren England)
The 23-year-old is facing a make-or-break season. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Bird believes he can feed off Oates

Jack Bird believes he can form one of the best centre and wing combinations in the NRL with Corey Oates, as the duo aim to play out a full season alongside playmaker Anthony Milford.

Last week the former Cronulla back confirmed he would play left centre in 2019, joining Oates, Milford and backrower Alex Glenn down that edge.

Bird made his Broncos debut on the same side in Round 3 last year, but barely had the opportunity to strike up combinations with his teammates, given he also spent time in the halves before falling victim to a season-ending sternum injury after Round 10.

 

However, with a full pre-season under his belt this year, Bird is now hopeful he can make the most of playing alongside the Queensland Origin duo in Oates and Milford.

He said while Milford was still on restricted training in his return from a shoulder reconstruction, he had been working hard with towering winger Oates to build a combination he believes could be one of the strongest in the game.

"Hopefully we can become one of the best centre and winger duos in the comp," Bird told The Courier-Mail.

 

Bird has been putting in the hard yards during training. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
Bird has been putting in the hard yards during training. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
 

"He's one of the best wingers in the comp so I'm really looking forward to hopefully having a full season with him and working on that combination.

"It's been good working with big Oatesy. He keeps me on my toes, that's for sure. He talks a lot and is a good fella.

"I haven't worked with Milf too much because I was injured all last year and he's injured this year. But Milf's a great player, we all know that and what he can do.

"We have to adjust to each other's playing styles.

"If you don't have that combination, everything goes down the drain. Once he's back 100 per cent, fully fit, we'll start working a little bit more together."

 

The Broncos need Milford back in training soon. (AAP Image/Darren England)
The Broncos need Milford back in training soon. (AAP Image/Darren England)

 

Milford revealed earlier this week that he is aiming to return to full contact training ahead of Brisbane's February 23 trial against Wynnum Manly at Kougari Oval while Glenn - who has been on restricted training in his recovery from a grade two calf tear - is also hopeful of playing in that trial or the one against the Gold Coast Titans on March 2 at Cbus Super Stadium.

This will give Anthony Seibold's left edge time to work on their combinations ahead of the new season and Milford said he liked Bird's belief in their potential for 2019.

"I like the confidence," the five-eighth said.

"We just need to get better in training, do our reps and that's all we can ask.

"Fingers crossed we go through the season uninjured. It's good to have some stability there in our left edge with Lex, Birdy and Oatesy. We need to continue to build on that."

 

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News Corp Australia


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