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Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 10:33 UK

Catalans to keep convicted Bird

Greg Bird
Bird plans to appeal against his conviction for assault

Catalans Dragons have opened talks with Australian stand-off Greg Bird about extending his stay at the club despite his recent conviction for assault.

The 25-year-old was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend when he appeared in court in Sydney last week.

He returned to play against Leeds on Sunday, but is due back in Australia for sentencing on 22 June.

But Catalans boss Christophe Levy said: "We are talking to his agent. He is world class and we'd like to keep him."

He added: "We are still waiting for the full decision of the court but he is our captain."

Bird, who is planning to appeal against his conviction, was released by Australian club Cronulla Sharks earlier this year following his arrest, but quickly found himself in big demand by Super League clubs.


Bradford won the race for his signature but the Catalans stepped in when the British High Commission rejected the player's visa application.

Bird signed a contract with the Dragons to the end of the season and was appointed captain after just two substitute appearances.

He has missed only one of the Dragons' last 10 matches, despite making two trips to Australia for court appearances, and defied an abductor injury to lead his side against Leeds at Murrayfield.

Bird is currently fighting to overcome a hamstring injury in time to play against holders St Helens in Sunday's Carnegie Challenge Cup fifth-round tie at the GPW Recruitment Stadium.

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see also
Bird convicted over glass attack
28 Apr 09 |  Catalans
Catalans capitalise to sign Bird
04 Mar 09 |  Catalans
Bradford hit by Bird visa setback
13 Feb 09 |  Bradford
Bulls and Rhinos argue over Bird
19 Jan 09 |  Rugby League
Bulls swoop for Aussie star Bird
17 Jan 09 |  Bradford

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