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Bennett's aura could lure Bird: Thaiday

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/04/2017 Laine Clark

Speculation linking Cronulla's Jack Bird to a shock move to Brisbane is proof Wayne Bennett has not lost his aura, Sam Thaiday says.

The Broncos have emerged as the surprise favourites to secure Bird despite the Sharks star being strong courted by Newcastle and Parramatta in recent weeks.

It's understood Brisbane have offered Bird a three-year, $3.6 million deal which would give him the chance to combine with playmaker Anthony Milford in the Broncos halves.

Brisbane have reached for the cheque book after halfback Ben Hunt announced he would link with St George Illawarra from 2018.

Thaiday said Bird's reported interest showed Bennett still had his "star factor" after copping pre-season criticism that he had lost the playing group.

"He's still got that star factor and can draw some big players," Thaiday said.

"Players that aren't at our club and don't know our environment still want to play under Wayne Bennett shows he still has that pulling power.

"He can still draw some good players at this club."

Bird is believed to be keen to move into the halves or fullback to advance his NRL career.

The thought of Bird doing that at Brisbane enticed Thaiday.

"He's a fantastic young talent, done some great things at the Sharks," he said.

"I am not his manager but the rumour mill is going around that he wants to come up here and if he does he would be a fantastic addition to the Broncos."

Brisbane lock Josh McGuire admitted he was shocked to hear the rumours but threw out the welcome mat for Bird.

"I don't know if he is coming. There are always rumours in the paper, you never know until it is 100 per cent concrete," McGuire said of Bird speculation.

"But he's a really good competitor, he is hard to tackle and wants to win - people like that are who we want at this club."

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