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Bird excited for Ipswich return

A fan favourite is set to light up North Ipswich Reserve again when the inaugural Rugby League Ipswich All Stars match kicks off this weekend.

Ricky Bird, a 118-game Ipswich Jets legend, is one of the big names set to lace up the boots for the Indigenous All Stars, joining a raft of local stars who will return to their old stomping ground for the special occasion.

"I’m feeling a little bit excited. I haven’t had a run around for a while," Bird said.

"Ian Lacey - who is coaching - asked me around a month ago and told me about the concept and what it was for and stuff like that so I thought it would be good to get back on the park with some old team mates and have a bit of a run around with the current crop of indigenous players out this way, so it’ll be good."

Joining a number of ex-Intrust Super Cup greats including Donald Malone, Billy McConnachie and Phil Dennis - just to name a few, the prolific try-scorer is most looking forward to playing alongside the current stars who are representing Ipswich in Queensland's top grade competition.

"I’ve followed some of the younger lads – some of the current players over the last couple of years but I haven’t had a chance to get on the field with them obviously being a bit older than them," Bird said.

"But something like this is a good concept to bring some of the past players to play with some of the current crop of players and just have that vibe where the younger players want to play with us because they saw us playing when they were growing up or were a bit younger and vice versa.

"Where we as old players are following their journey and careers over the last couple of years and thinking... 'oh jeez, it’d be good to get on the park with them and play alongside them'.

"This concept allows us to do that."

 

Come along to the Ipswich Indigenous All Stars V Ipswich All Stars Game on Saturday 6 March!

Posted by Rugby League Ipswich on Thursday, February 25, 2021

Conceding it's a tough decision to return to the field these days, the chance to celebrate Ipswich's indigenous players was one he couldn't miss.

"Obviously I’m a bit older now and I'm not usually as keen to give back on the park and have a run around but seeing this is such a good thing, I couldn't say no," the former Jets half said.

"People can come together after COVID and celebrate the past and present indigenous players that have played in the Ipswich comp and also come through and played for the Jets."

As a proud Cherbourg man, Bird said representing his indigenous heritage was particularly important to him during his playing days - especially with the special connection the Jets have with his home town - and the All Stars concept would be a chance to represent his community once again.

"For myself being an old Ipswich Jets player, there’s a bit of a connection with the town I’m from," Bird said.

"I’m from Cherbourg born and bred and there has been a few Cherbourg boys who have come through the years and have played for the Jets.

"For myself coming through, that [representing my people] was always in the back of my mind when I was playing. I’m not just representing myself and my family but I’m also representing the place that I'm from.

"Every time I used to and even now when I step on the footy field, that’s always on the back of my mind that I’m representing my people as a whole and also my community that I’m from.

"That’s always been important to me and to share the field this weekend with a couple of Cherbourg boys as well is going to be great.  

"For me personally, no matter what I’m doing and where I’m at, I’m always representing my community in Cherbourg at all times."

Fellow Cherbourg representative and former Intrust Super Cup centre Donald Malone will also line-up for the Indigenous All Stars.
Fellow Cherbourg representative and former Intrust Super Cup centre Donald Malone will also line-up for the Indigenous All Stars.

Despite only having one training session, Bird is expecting his side to throw the ball around and most importantly, just have fun.

"Our one and only training run was last night," Bird said.

"I think it’s just a matter of getting out on the field and throwing the ball around a bit and most of all, enjoying ourselves.

"And hopefully for me, not getting injured."

The All Stars match kicks off at 5.50pm Saturday, March 6 at North Ipswich Reserve.

Indigenous All Stars v Ipswich All Stars

Indigenous All Stars

1. Wes Conlon 2. Benard Mosby 3. Harold Mosby 4. Donald Malone 5. Rendy Mam 6. Cameron Picker 7. Ricky Bird 8. Billy McConnachie 9. Jerome Green 10. Leigh Coghill 11. Kurtis Lingwoodock 12. Nathan Gaulton 13. Phil Dennis 14. Steven West 15. Willie Tonga 16. Kyle Blackman 17. Ritchie Lowe 18. Brandon Grogan 19. Lamiki Wraight 20. Daniel West-Pes

Ipswich All Stars

1. Ratu Vatuinaruku 2. Anava Fesolai 3. Nemani Velekapa 4. Tonga Mo'unga 5. Sam Langbien 6. Traveindra Naidu 7. Isi Hafoka 8. Jake O'Doherty 9. Michael Hayes 10. Zac Lemberg 11. Ramon Filipine 12. Jacob Lindsey 13. John Schwalger 14. Jack Wallace 15. Jake Casey 16. Dylan Martin 17. Elijah Umu 18. Alby Talipeau 19. David Faamita 20. Michael Rasmussen 21. Regan Wilde 22. Nicholas Maina

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours 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 Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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