State of Origin rivalries put aside by Kangaroos

LIAM FITZGIBBON
Last updated 16:49 26/11/2013
Greg Bird
Getty Images
DIFFERENCES ASIDE: Greg Bird taking to the field for New South Wales.

Relevant offers

League

New Zealand Warriors' coach Andrew McFadden sees positives in loss to Sharks New Zealand Warriors pipped by Cronulla Sharks as season starts to slip away Sonny Bill Williams, Kiwis named in Canterbury Bulldogs team of last decade Manly Sea Eagles shock NRL-leading Brisbane Broncos Comeback Cowboys, North Queensland overcome Canberra Raiders Penrith coach Ivan Cleary says Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will be back in NRL Fox Memorial rugby league: 'The best show on grass' Kiwis international Sam Moa dislocates wrist in Roosters' win over Bulldogs Coliseum Sports Media continuing to push the sports TV boundaries Former Kiwis international Sam Kasiano flattened by massive Kane Evans hit

Greg Bird says any State of Origin divide that existed among Kangaroos players at the World Cup has closed after eight long weeks on tour.

Amid suggestions a fierce rivalry still exists between Queensland and NSW players within the national team, Bird insists state allegiances will be far from the players' minds heading into Saturday's final against New Zealand.

The Blues enforcer said state rivalries were "joked about" among players but revealed it did take time for the squad to gel at the start of the campaign.

"We're all one unit now," Bird told AAP.

"At the start everyone's a little bit stand off-ish.

"You've still got those repercussions from Origin and everything that's gone down there but after we have been over here together for eight weeks, Origin is a distant memory.

"We're all playing for Australia now and we've bonded quite well."

Bird believes the strong history between the Kangaroos and Kiwis will ensure a strong collective passion from Australia's player at Old Trafford.

"There's been some tough battles over the years and I expect this to be no different," Bird said.

"I think they've got one of the best squads they've ever had, if not the best squad, and everyone of them is in career best form.

"They're never beaten we're going to have make sure we play a full 80 minutes to combat that."

Bird came off early in the semi-final win over Fiji with a corked leg but said he would be fully fit for the final.

Ad Feedback

- AAP

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your pick for international league player of the year?

Shaun Johnson

Jesse Bromwich

Sam Burgess

James Graham

Greg Inglis

Johnathan Thurston

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content