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Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Catalans capitalise to sign Bird

Greg Bird
Greg Bird made his Kangaroos debut against New Zealand in 2007

Former Australia forward Greg Bird has joined Super League club Catalans Dragons until the end of the season.

The former Cronulla Shark was set to sign for Bradford Bulls, but the move collapsed after he was denied a visa to work in Britain.

He goes on trial in Australia in April after being charged with reckless wounding and assault.

The 25-year-old replaces French forward Sebastien Raguin who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Bird has trained with the French side and is set to make his Super League debut against Castleford at the Gilbert Brutus Stadium on Saturday.

"We started the process last week and were lucky enough to get the visa through on Wednesday morning," said Catalans general manager Christophe Levy.

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Bird, who has maintained his innocence, had signed a one-year deal at Odsal - with an option for another two years - before being refused a UK visa.

However, he could still have difficulties gaining permission to play away matches in England.

The UK Borders Agency has no objection to him playing in France but says it will be up to individual immigration officers at UK airports to decide whether he should be allowed access into the UK.

The Dragons' next trip to England is on Sunday, 15 March to play Wakefield.



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see also
Bradford hit by Bird visa setback
13 Feb 09 |  Bradford
Rising to the challenge
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby League
Bulls and Rhinos argue over Bird
19 Jan 09 |  Rugby League
Bulls swoop for Aussie star Bird
17 Jan 09 |  Bradford
Queensland 30-0 NSW
11 Jun 08 |  Rugby League
Australia 28-12 New Zealand
09 May 08 |  Rugby League
Bradford capture legend Menzies
17 Jul 08 |  Bradford


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