After starring in Canterbury’s successful 2012 ITM Cup campaign, the 6’9” lock-forward joins the Crusaders as a full squad member for the 2013 season, after sitting on the fringes during the 2012 competition.
Born in Waipukura, Hawke’s Bay, in the North Island of New Zealand, the towering lock was a member of the all-conquering NZ Under-20s side which captured the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship crown in Italy.
Having been lured to Canterbury to join the Lincoln University Rugby Academy, where he captains their Senior team, Bird made his ITM Cup debut in 2011 against Manawatu.
A break-out season in 2012, where he showed obvious improvements in his physicality and ability to get around the paddock, saw him courted by incoming Blues coach John Kirwan, but Bird stayed loyal to his adopted city and was rewarded by coach Todd Blackadder with selection in the squad, where he will join All Black locking duo Sam Whitelock and Luke Romano.
As one would expect of the giant tight-forward, he is a dominant force in the lineouts, but Blackadder will undoubtedly be hoping that the 21 year-olds sheer bulk can be translated into genuine power in the scrums and a true physical presence at the break-down