Wrong call over Gold Coast Titans skipper

NEIL Henry is a very able footy coach, and comes across as astute and a really decent bloke.

And with 200 NRL matches in charge of the Raiders, Cowboys and Titans on his plate, plus a stint as assistant

Maroons Origin coach, he would be expected to be a good judge of character.

That's why it is difficult to comprehend why the Titans coach might support his players in their call for Greg Bird to again be installed as the Gold Coast skipper.

To most of us on the outside looking in, this is a birdbrain idea.

In case people have forgotten, Greg Bird is a serial repeat offender and has one of the worst rap sheets in NRL history.

And his transgressions have not been just on the field.

For most of last season Bird was embroiled in the cocaine scandal that rocked the Titans, albeit his charges were eventually thrown out of court.

But the irreparable damage to the image of the club had already been done.

And who can forget Bird's

memorable post-wedding incident in Byron Bay last December when he was charged with urinating on a police car?

He was subsequently fined $15,000 by the Titans and stripped of the captaincy that he now thinks he once again deserves.

One of the players who replaced him as captain last season, Ryan James, has gone public with his support of Bird to return as skipper.

According to James, Bird has the captaincy 'aura', and also the respect of his fellow players.

In fact, even Titans founding chairman Paul Broughton believes Bird should be reinstated.

After Bird was cleared of his drug-supply charges Broughton was quoted as saying 'he's a born leader and should be captain'.

Seriously, what are these people thinking?

Do they have no feel for the game and no real sense of the harm Bird has done to the Titans brand, let alone the carnage he has heaped on the NRL over the years?

Since his NRL debut in 2002, Bird has been suspended for a total of 29 matches, the most recent an eight-game sentence in May last year for a spear tackle in the Anzac Test. He is the fourth most suspended player since the NRL was formed in 1998.

A good player and on-field leader he may be, but surely there is no way the NRL - which now effectively controls the Titans - could rubber-stamp him as captain.

And why they are procrastinating over the captaincy issue is baffling, when Luke Douglas appears to be the perfect candidate.

He was the 2015 Titans player of the year and was also awarded the NRL's Ken Stephen Medal as the game's best off-field ambassador.

It's time the struggling Titans realised image is paramount.



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