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

Origin pre-season camp friction could play out in Melbourne Storm-Cronulla Sharks NRL grand final Wesley College rugby and league talent look to take next steps in sporting careers Gold Coast Titans NRL star Jarryd Hayne set to become a father with friend Amellia Bonnici Tony Smith: Why NZ shouldn't stage a NRL grand final - 'it's not fair on the fans' Chances of Kieran Foran being registered with Warriors in time appear remote NRL grand final: Life's changed a lot since 1967, but the Sharks' title count hasn't NRL grand final could come to New Zealand Jason Taumalolo's knee woes could rule him out of Kiwis' Four Nations series NRL grand final: Storm plot to end Sharks fairytale This haka from an U-11 Taranaki league team would give the All Blacks a run for their money

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