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Dragons centre Jack Bird's first ever NRL start in the forward pack was a rousing success, and while the man himself still doesn't see it as a full-time switch, his coach Anthony Griffin is happy with what he saw.

Bird looked more back-rower than centre as he chugged his way to the try line supporting an early Matt Dufty break, being easily caught by Brisbane's backs before pushing them off to score.

His ball skills were on show with an offload for Brayden Wiliame to score not long after while there was an occasionally shaky moment in defence with his edge complicit in two quick tries set up by Albert Kelly for TC Robati.

The 80-minute outing eventually netted the 2016 premiership-winner 31 tackles (four missed) and 131 metres with one bust and one try.

"I thought he was brilliant," Griffin said.

"He hit some really tough lines there on the edge and the fact he did, it made room for [Matt] Dufty and [Corey] Norman and [Ben] Hunt around the back.

"Defensively it was his first game there, he got a little bit lost for that couple of tries they got in a row but in general his effort was enormous I thought, I was really happy for him.

Bird relishing new edge role early as Wiliame crosses

"He's played 13 games in a row, he's just done 80 minutes in the back row. It's good signs for him.

"Whether he plays there next week or the week after, we've got a few people still on the sidelines that will come back into the side over the next couple of weeks so we'll have a look at that."

After a mooted off-season move to the pack, it was Bird that went to the coach to suggest his return from successive ACL injuries may be better off in the centres for now and he remains a reluctant forward despite the early success.

"I've played in the centres and moved to the lock position when someone gets injured or whatever but that was the first time I've started there," Bird said.

"I enjoyed it, it was good. It was a little bit more work but that's the first time. If I stay there I'll only improve my fitness. I really did enjoy it."

Bird said he initially wasn't sure what to think of Griffin's decision to move him to NSW edge forward Tariq Sims' vacant spot this week.

"I thought I was going all right in the centres but whatever's best for the team, I said to him at the start of the week. In saying that I did enjoy the back row but that was Hook's decision," Bird said.

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Bird joked that his initial reluctance to move to the pack was because he didn't want to train with the forwards.

"I just thought it was best for myself and the team at the start of the season and in pre-season to go back to centres," he said.

"I still believe that but Hook's the coach and he makes the decisions. I just think we're pretty short in the outside backs lately with a few injuries and a few young fellas coming through so it was probably the best decision at the start of the year for me to start in the centres.

"I think Hook's always had a plan to put me in the forwards. I enjoy centre and I enjoyed tonight. I wouldn't say I'm going to stay there forever but we'll wait and see."

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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