How negative pressure rooms will solve Victoria’s quarantine woes

Melbourne’s quarantine system will be put to the test as inbound international flights resume. A new quarantine facility is set to overturn past failures. Negative pressure setups are just one of the new measures in place to prevent the spread of infections.

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Saints injury woes continue as Demon star emerges

St Kilda’s run of bad luck with injury has continued with defender Jimmy Webster suffering a suspected fractured jaw in the 18-point loss to Melbourne. 

Webster had to undergo a concussion test after he copped an accidental knock in a contest on the wing during the third quarter after coming off the bench.

Jimmy Webster suffered a suspected broken jaw in the clash.Credit:

“It was an accident, wrong spot at the wrong time but there was no malice or anything,” coach Brett Ratten said.

The Saints have endured a horror run in the pre-season with Jarryn Geary, Paddy Ryder, Rowan Marshall, Dan Hannebery, Ben Paton and James Frawley absent through injury.

Although they managed to overcome their lack of personnel to upset the Giants in round one they could not repeat the dose, with Ratten admitting the three-goal margin flattered them – with their ball use well below par.

“We had to carry too many,” Ratten said.

Adelaide Crow Brad Crouch will play his first game for the Saints as he has completed the two-match suspension he received for conduct unbecoming after police found him in possession of an illicit substance post-season.

Ratten was also hopeful Ryder might return to play in the ruck against Essendon after his season finished early last season when he hurt his hamstring in a best on ground performance against the Western Bulldogs in the elimination final.

He said Hannebery was progressing well but would not play in round three, while Marshall ran on Saturday but would not be ready next week.

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Macquarie profit outlook soars 10% on American storm woes

The winter storms that swept across the U.S., particularly Texas, upending the energy market and knocking out power for millions of people, have delivered a windfall for Macquarie Group, with the Australian bank lifting its profit outlook for 2021 by as much as 10 percent, just two weeks after warning that earnings would be “slightly down”.

“Extreme winter weather conditions in North America have significantly increased short-term client demand for Macquarie’s capabilities in maintaining critical physical supply across the commodity complex,” according to the company, which is the second-largest supplier of gas in North America after oil major BP, as quoted by Reuters.

Macquarie’s energy business unit typically trades large quantities of natural gas to meet last-minute consumer demand, moving gas from areas of low usage to areas where the demand is high.

According to analysts, the gains made by the energy business unit over nearly a week of frigid temperatures, which sent demand for gas and power soaring in the U.S., could single-handedly boost Macquarie’s overall profit by about $317 million.

The deadly winter storm sent power prices surging to $8,800 per megawatt-hour in some parts of Texas, from an average of $26 per MWh. Meanwhile, real-time natural gas prices shot up by more than 300 times in Texas’s deregulated market, as electricity generators competed for natural gas supplies.

Customers are now staring at massive electricity bills. This has led to US politicians promising to investigate how some companies have profited heavily from the winter storm.

“This week is like hitting the jackpot, with some of these incredible prices,” said Roland Burns, president at Comstock.

Following the revised profit outlook, Macquarie’s shares rose 3.5 percent to A$147.15 on Monday, the highest level in a year, outperforming the broader market.

“Macquarie appears to be capitalizing well on volatility and financial market dislocation,” Bank of America Securities analysts said in a note, as they revised their earnings forecast for the Sydney-headquartered company.

Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets division contributes close to 40 percent of its group earnings. Analysts had earlier expressed concerns that the pandemic could chip away at profits from the division if high energy-use industries closed down.

The company’s performance suffered last year as the pandemic subdued deal-making and compounded economic woes, leading to a rise in impairment charges.

But, a strong initial public offering of Nuix last year, its majority-owned data analytics software business, and the boom in the energy business, have helped raise the company’s share price to pre-pandemic levels.

The company, which also operates Australia’s largest asset manager and investment banking business, is also hoping for another boost from a recovery in local M&A activity this year.

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Adelaide Fringe 2021 set to open as organisers ‘pivot’ to manage COVID-19 woes

The final preparations for the opening of the 2021 Adelaide Fringe Festival are underway as the city prepares to shake off a tumultuous 12 months.

Last year’s event finished on the eve of nationwide restrictions and was the last time some artists performed since the pandemic hit, according to chief executive Heather Croall.

“You can feel the excitement, the anticipation across the city,” she said.

“Many artists haven’t even performed since Adelaide Fringe 2020 and this is their first time back on stage, so we’re really excited to see it.”

This year’s festival will utilise more outdoor space for performances and audiences.(Instagram: Adelaide Fringe/Meaghan Coles)

COVID-19 ‘pivot’

Premier Steven Marshall said at the event’s media launch today that it had been a testing time for arts administrations around the world.

“They’ve got to pivot, they’ve got to turn, they’ve got to do a backflip every now and again,” he said.


Mr Marshall added that last year’s Fringe ended up being the biggest arts festival in the world because of the cancellation of events like the Edinburgh Fringe.

“I think it’s going to be the largest arts festival in the world again this year,” he said.

This year’s event will include nearly 900 events and 21,000 individual performances at 392 venues in the city, suburbs and regions.

About $140,000 worth of tickets have already been sold — or about 8,000 a day, on average.

“That’s about the same as last year, which is pretty unbelievable given the year we’ve had,” Ms Croall said.

A man in a suit and a woman with a large love heart necklace look to the side of camera.
Steven Marshall praised Heather Croall for adapting the festival.(ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

Melburnians caught out

But about 800 of those tickets were sold to Victorians and a travel ban remains in place for people living in the Greater Melbourne area.

Ms Croall said the ban, which included all of Victoria up until yesterday, had resulted in several shows being cancelled.

She said they were hoping that restriction would be eased by Thursday next week.

“It’s more a case of rescheduling to be a bit later, whether it’s customers or artists,” Ms Croall said.

“But most people seem to be able to be flexible on that.

Ms Croall said many Victorian performers, including comedian and 2021 Fringe Ambassador Ross Noble, had arrived in Adelaide well before Victoria’s most recent snap lockdown.

Comedian Ross Noble with a stuffed skunk.
Fringe Ambassador Ross Noble arrived in Adelaide two weeks ago.(Facebook: Ross Noble)

Open air changes

Despite Australia having relatively few COVID-19 cases compared to the rest of the world, Fringe hubs this year will have some notable changes.

“Some of the big indoor tents have turned into outdoor amphitheatres and arenas, and that’s just a much safter way,” Ms Croall said.

“We’ve got lots of outdoor theatres, promenade theatres, projections outside.

People stand around in a festival garden as fireworks explode overhead.
The Garden of Unearthly Delights venue hub will open Thursday night.(Supplied: Andre Castellucci)

She said masks would be mandatory at venues running at 75 per cent capacity.

One of the big East End outdoor hubs, Gluttony, has changed its layout to include more entry and exit points.

Its floor space will be divided into two different sections during the weekend peak to allow as many as 5,000 people inside both areas at once.

“A lot of the innovation that’s come out of the Fringe this year has come out of the necessity of COVID restrictions and regulations,” Ms Croall said.

Four people stand outside an old building lit up with lights.
The Queens curators Amelia Ryan and Zac Tyler with producers Torben and Richelle Brookman.(Supplied: Morgan Sette)

Regular cleaning

The other big East End hub, The Garden of Unearthly Delights, has been redesigned to be more spacious and include additional distanced seating areas.

Co-director Michelle Buxton said the garden would be cleaned regularly by a dedicated team, but audiences were also expected to maintain “well accepted COVID-safe practices of social distancing and good hygiene”.

Also new this year is a venue entitled The Queens in the West End.

It will be located in the oldest operational theatre on mainland Australia, The Queen’s Theatre, and offer a late night after party every Friday and Saturday night.

Built in 1840, the theatre – which is usually used for theatre and live music performances – will have an emphasis on cabaret, although it will also host some comedy and other musical acts.

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More hamstring woes for St Kilda Saints’ Zak Jones, Ryan Byrnes to undergo surgery

St Kilda are hopeful key midfielder Zak Jones will be available for their round one date with Greater Western Sydney after the speedster suffered his third hamstring injury in 12 months.

The club confirmed on Tuesday that Jones had started a rehabilitation program after straining his left hamstring last week. He is listed as three weeks away from returning, which would be in time for St Kilda’s season-opener against the Giants in Sydney on Sunday, March 21.

Dash and carry: St Kilda’s Zak Jones.Credit:Getty Images

The soft tissue injury continues a frustrating trend for the former Sydney hard nut, who was twice sidelined with minor hamstring ailments last year during his first season since being traded from the Swans. Jones finished sixth in St Kilda’s best and fairest last year, playing 16 of a possible 18 games.

Meanwhile, St Kilda youngster Ryan Byrnes is set for a delayed start to the season after suffering a serious hamstring tendon injury.

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Australian batting woes, New Zealand, Kiwi’s sledge, bats for sale, Number one

A fan at the Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan has delivered a brutal sledge across the Tasman that hits just a little too close to home.

But it also shows the Kiwis are getting just a little bit cocky as the side is set to overtake Australia for the world No. 1 team on the Test rankings.

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New Zealand appear destined to put the hurt on Pakistan after stumps on day 2 of the Test match with Kane Williamson — the recently crowned number one Test batsman in the world — hitting another century to finish not out on 112 with Henry Nicholls adding 89.

Just three wickets down, New Zealand are just 11 runs short of Pakistan’s first innings score of 297 at 3/286.

But cameras found a supporter that may have been getting too far ahead of themselves.

With a smug smirk, the supporter held a sign reading “Cricket bats for sale. Barely used. Call: S. Smith, J. Burns @ Cricket Australia.

New Zealand appear set to claim the world’s number one Test team ranking and are provisionally ahead of Australia at the moment. The ICC only officially update the rankings at the end of a series.

A win for Australia in Sydney would return the Aussies to the top of the provisional rankings while India can snatch the World No. 1 with a 3-1 win. A drawn series between Australia and India would mean New Zealand stay on top of the rankings.

Kiwi fans have a bit of a short memory as Australia hasn’t lost to New Zealand in a Test match on either side of the Tasman since 2011, the only time in the past 27 years in Test matches, including a 3-0 drubbing in the series between the teams last year in Australia.

Steve Smith only averaged 42.8 in that series.

And Smith was also named the Test player of the decade just last week after scoring more than 7000 runs at an average of more than 65, the best since Bradman.

But the fan may have a point.

It was revealed that Australia’s current dire batting performances are the sides worst in 133-years with scores of just 191, 194 and 200 in completed innings’ against India.

AAP reporter Scott Bailey revealed the team’s average runs per wicket this season (21.50) is the lowest in any home summer since way back in 1887/88.

It also saw Burns dropped after a horror run of outs saw him under fire.

Smith is averaging just 3.33 having scored just 10 runs and he dropped down to third in the Test batting rankings behind Williamson and India’s Virat Kohli.

Williamson hit 251 against the West Indies and 129 in the first Test against Pakistan, as well as the 112 not out in the second Test to take the number one ranking.

Australia have been talking up how Smith can get out of his funk with all the Aussie batsmen looking to bounce back.

“It’s more about the method now,” assistant coach Andrew McDonald said.

“He’s working hard. He’s clearly hitting the ball well.

“Technically (both Smith and Marnus Labuschagne) are ready to go.

“It’s about how they are going to score their runs and how they’re going to combat these tactics from Indian bowlers and captains.

“There’s a challenge there for Steve to rebound, the world’s best players usually rebound and I think he’s in a really good space to perform come Sydney.”

Australia and New Zealand are set to play a five-match T20 series in late February and early March.

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Luxury car sales drop 30pc on Covid woes


Luxury car sales drop 30pc on Covid woes




  • The Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI) statistics show orders for high-end, which cost as much as Sh30 million, fell to 236 units in the review period from 340 in a year ago.
  • German-made BMW, whose franchise is now under Inchcape Kenya which bought it from Simba Corporation, was the only brand with notable growth in the luxurious cars category, with sales more than doubling to 24 compared with nine in a similar period in 2019.

Sales of new luxury cars dropped 30 percent in 11 months ended November 2020 in a year most households and businesses saw their earnings hammered by economic fallout arising from coronavirus crisis.

The Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI) statistics show orders for high-end, which cost as much as Sh30 million, fell to 236 units in the review period from 340 in a year ago.

German-made BMW, whose franchise is now under Inchcape Kenya which bought it from Simba Corporation, was the only brand with notable growth in the luxurious cars category, with sales more than doubling to 24 compared with nine in a similar period in 2019.

The data shows 10 of the 24 BMW cars were bought by the wealth Kenyans after progressive re-opening of the economy started in earnest from July 6, which is more than three times the three units sold in the July-November 2019.

Sales of Land Rover models, which are popular with politicians and chief executive of blue-chip firms, slowed down to 33 from 40 units in the 11-month period. The Land Rover cars, a British brand, is also under Inchcape Kenya franchise.

The KMI data shows that sales of the iconic German car, Mercedes Benz, fell 42.41 percent in the January-November period to 148 units from 257 units in a similar period in 2019.

A total of six Jaguar cars were sold by Inchcape in the period compared with seven a year earlier, while Porsche Centre Nairobi closed orders for 23 units of the high-performance German cars, a marginal drop from 24 units in corresponding period in 2019.

Sales of Bentley cars, a British brand, declined to two from three units, according to the industry statistics.

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Are Australia’s dropped catches and fielding woes a lapse or a serious problem for Australian Test team?

“Have they got a fielding coach, India? I imagine they would have,” Waugh said on Fox Cricket.

Well, whatever they worked on did the job in Melbourne, and the spell this time was cast on Tim Paine’s side, which had its roughest Test in the field since, according to Stats Perform, grassing nine catches against India at the SCG in 2012. Little wonder Langer gave his side a “direct” talking to – but not one of his famous blow-ups – after an eight-wicket loss which has evened the battle for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at 1-1 apiece, ensuring a fascinating end to the four-Test campaign.

Dropped catches in Melbourne

  • Marnus Labuschagne 2
  • Cameron Green 1
  • Matthew Wade 1
  • Mitchell Starc 1
  • Steve Smith 1
  • Tim Paine 1
  • Travis Head 1

Australia’s troubles began late on day one when Marnus Labuschagne spilled an opportunity at third slip when debutant opener Shubman Gill was on four, and escalated on Sunday when the home team desperately needed to make inroads.

Tim Paine was first up, diving to his left but unable to pouch an inside edge off Gill. Cameron Green, whom Pat Cummins joked had become his new “best friend” in Adelaide after holding on to a Virat Kohli thunderbolt at gully, then dropped Rishabh Pant at gully in a one-handed chance.

Steve Smith has typically been one of the more assured hands in world cricket but that wasn’t the case when he spilt Ajinkya Rahane at second slip on 73. Smith reacted by saying he had lost sight of the delivery, in which the stand-in Indian captain had thrown his bat at a wide delivery and the ball flew off a thick edge. That was a particularly painful blunder, as Rahane finished the day unbeaten on 104 – his second ton at the MCG.

To cap off a frustrating day, Travis Head appeared all but set to celebrate the dismissal of Rahane on the last ball of the day but the ball bobbed out of his hands as he dived forward on the ground from point. As the contest unfolded over the ensuing days, Labuschagne grassed Ravi Ashwin at leg slip, Matthew Wade spilled a difficult chance at short leg off Gill, and Mitchell Starc fumbled Rahane in the deep.

Travis Head drops a catch off India’s Ajinkya Rahane on day two.Credit:AP

Former Australian opener Chris Rogers put it down to the Australians simply having a bad few days and didn’t sheet the entire blame for defeat to their work in the field.

“These dropped catches they put down in the first innings were costly but, equally, it was about their [lack of] first-innings runs and they weren’t able to do that,” Rogers said.

Marnus Labuschagne spills a catch off Shubman Gill on day one.

Marnus Labuschagne spills a catch off Shubman Gill on day one.Credit:Getty Images

Whether the dropped catches are the start of a wider problem, or an aberration, will be shown in Sydney next week.

Under senior assistant coach Andrew McDonald, the Australians industriously work on their ground fielding and catching, but they haven’t had a specialist fielding coach since Brad Haddin stepped down during last year’s Ashes series because of family reasons.

There has been debate in recent years over how best to improve catching. One camp says it’s about technique and skill, and must be treated as its own training entity, as opposed to it being included as part of fitness drills, in effect killing two birds with one ball.

Pointing to a deeper issue, those with knowledge of the Australian cricket academy argue while there is much attention on throwing, there needs to be more time spent on the art of slips catching.

“We are obsessed with having bowlers bowl at 145km/h … and 90 per cent of their wickets are caught behind the wicket,” one former player said.

One theory this summer is that quarantine restrictions in terms of time allowed out have had an impact on fielding standards across first-class and even the Big Bash League season, with players keen to use their time more on batting and bowling. Paine is meticulous in his preparation – to the point he even lost too much weight in the off-season – and often likes to walk to the ground, even before his teammates arrive, and practice on match mornings. He said during the Adelaide Test that this had been constrained because of COVID-19 protocols demanding that he head to the ground in a team van.

Test catch rates 2020

  • South Africa 81.4%
  • England 79.4%
  • Zimbabwe 79.2%
  • Pakistan 79.1%
  • Sri Lanka 78.8%
  • Bangladesh 77.3%
  • New Zealand 76.4%
  • India 75.5%
  • Australia 71.4%
  • West Indies 63.0%

Source: Stats Perform

However, when asked by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald whether any potential time restrictions had impacted on the fielding, Labuschagne said that had not been the case.

“It’s maybe a concentration thing, maybe a focus thing, but it’s definitely not a work ethic thing,” he said.


“All of our fielders are working really hard on their exact position. If you are short leg, or leg slip or bat pad, or fielding in the slips, we are all working really hard. I certainly don’t think COVID has had an impact on the amount of training we are getting there.”

Labuschagne’s theory about concentration was backed up by sources close to the team, who pointed out both nations have played little Test cricket – requiring session after session in the heat of the day – over the past year. Head is seen as one player whose concentration can be an issue.

Labuschagne said players, by the time they reached Test standard, had their own “catching technique” but were given adequate feedback on how they positioned themselves “to help you in making it easier to catch”.

In reviewing the MCG meltdown, McDonald said there had been “nothing obvious” that had led to the spilt chances.


“I just put it down to some sloppy moments. I don’t think you can ever put your finger on exactly what happens in that moment in the player’s mind, whether they were fully switched on or not. But nothing clear from our point of view,” he said.

“Our preparation was good around the amount of catching. It was the second-up Test match, therefore potentially any of concentration issues I don’t think are probably relevant. A lot of guys had a lot of Shield cricket leading in as well, plus some ‘A’ games.

“I don’t think there were any excuses there – we just weren’t able to execute in those moments.”

What appears clear is that Australia’s skips cordon lacks the surety and aura of the days of Mark Taylor, Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and, at gully, Steve Waugh, and there will be change come Sydney.

Joe Burns typically stands at first slip – Wade spent time there in Melbourne after rolling his ankle – but has been axed from the XI. Wade is the team’s primary ball shiner at mid-off, meaning Warner – if McDonald is right – will likely now stand alongside Paine should he play. Warner, however, is known to not be overly keen about life in the cordon.

Amid the debate about Australia’s performance in Melbourne, Mark Waugh’s comment highlighted how easy it was to forget how good the Australians had been in Adelaide when all went right in their demolition of the tourists. That, clearly, was their Jekyll, then came the Hyde of Melbourne. Just which character shows up in Sydney will shape where the Border-Gavaskar Trophy resides.

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Early wallop of snow causing pandemic-related woes in Northeastern U.S.

A major snowstorm rolled into the U.S. Northeast on Wednesday at a key moment in the coronavirus pandemic: days after the start of the U.S. vaccination campaign and in the thick of a virus surge that has throngs of people seeking tests every day.

Snow was falling from northern Virginia to points north of New York City by late afternoon. The storm was poised to drop more than 60 centimetres of snow in some places by Thursday. And the pandemic added new complexities to officials’ preparations — deciding whether to close testing sites, figuring out how to handle plowing amid outdoor dining platforms in New York City streets, redefining school snow days to mean another day of learning from home, and more.

“Our theme today ought to be, ‘If it’s not one thing, it’s another,’ ” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said as he gave residents storm guidance that’s new this year: mask up if you help your neighbours shovel.

Officials said they didn’t expect the winter blast to disrupt vaccine distribution, which began Monday for front-line health-care workers, the first group of Americans to get the shots. The first three million shots are being strictly limited to those workers and nursing home residents.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday that the government is tracking the vaccine shipments precisely, has staffers already in place to receive them and believes the companies transporting the doses can navigate the storm.

“This is FedEx, this is UPS express shipping. They know how to deal with snow and bad weather. But we are on it and following it,” he told Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends.

A front loader works at a large pile of road salt, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Chelsea, Mass., as preparation continues for a winter storm expected to dump a foot or more of snow throughout the Northeast. (Elise Amendola/The Associated Press)

‘Overabundance of hazards’

With 35 vaccine deliveries to New Jersey hospitals expected over the next day or two, Murphy said his administration was focused on making sure they continued, including by exempting vaccine delivery trucks from a storm-related prohibition on commercial traffic on some highways.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state’s first-round vaccine shipment had already been distributed to some 90 hospitals, with the next delivery not due until roughly Tuesday, well after the storm.

The National Weather Service said the storm was “set to bring an overabundance of hazards from the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast,” including freezing rain and ice in the mid-Atlantic, heavy snow in the New York City area and southern New England, strong winds and coastal flooding, and possibly even severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

In Virginia, the combination of snow, sleet and freezing rain knocked out power to several thousand homes and businesses by Wednesday afternoon. The state police said that as of 3 p.m. ET, troopers had responded to approximately 200 crashes, including a wreck on Interstate 81 that killed a North Carolina man.

A man shovels snow on the Villanova University campus during a winter storm, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Villanova, Pa. (Matt Slocum/The Associated Press)

‘Take this seriously,’ NYC mayor warns

The heaviest snowfall was expected in central Pennsylvania, where forecasters in the state capital of Harrisburg said a six-decade-old record for a December snowfall could potentially be broken.

But some areas from West Virginia to Maine could get 30 centimetres of snow — for some, that’s more than they saw all last winter. In New York City, officials braced for the biggest storm in about three years.

“Take this seriously,” Mayor Bill de Blasio warned residents.

In addition to the usual rolling out of plows and salt spreaders, the nation’s most populous city was adding some pandemic-era preparations to its list, such as closing city-run testing sites Wednesday afternoon and suspending outdoor dining in the sometimes elaborate spaces that now occupy parking spaces outside some restaurants.

Restaurants weren’t being required to break down their wooden enclosures and other structures for outdoor dining, currently the only form of restaurant table service allowed in the city, but they were told to secure outdoor furniture, remove heaters and take other steps to make way for plows.

The city’s snow-removal chief, acting sanitation commissioner Ed Grayson, said the agency had been planning and training since summer to manoeuvre around the structures.

Cars move along the roads as snow starts to fall Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (Frank Franklin II/The Associated Press)

De Blasio also announced that Thursday would be a snow day — 2020-style — for the nation’s largest school district. School buildings will be closed, but students will be expected to go to class online (many would anyway, as middle and high schools are currently all online, and many families have chosen remote learning).

“I know we all grew up with the excitement of snow days, but this year is different,” the mayor tweeted.

Rhode Island, meanwhile, closed state-run coronavirus testing sites for Thursday.

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Bird blames bad luck for NRL injury woes

Jack Bird has struggled with injury and health setbacks for most of his NRL career but as he prepares for a comeback with St George Illawarra he insisted he’s not injury prone.

Still in rehab from second ACL injury in 10 months, the 25-year-old spoke honestly about feeling like a burden on big money at Brisbane and his plan to return to his best for the Dragons.

The former NSW Origin star had the world at his feet when he signed with the Broncos but managed just 17 games in three seasons as he battled shoulder and sternum injuries and then double ACL ruptures.

Bird also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis – a condition for which he has regular injections to live a normal life.

However, on Thursday, a confident Bird blamed bad luck, not a physical propensity for injury for his troubles.

“I went to the Sharks after an ACL injury, played three seasons there,” he said.

“People will say I’m injury prone or whatever.

“But I’ve gone through arthritis, an ACL injury, and I went up to Cronulla and I didn’t get injured until probably my last few games, until I went to Brisbane and then it all went south.

“I was on top of the world at the Sharks, winning the comp at a young age and playing Origin, it’s everyone’s dream as a young kid.

“You can’t take things for granted because in the blink of an eye it could all be gone.

“I’m pretty dedicated to get back to where I was and that comes with hard work and I’m willing to put the hard work in.”

Still overcoming his latest injury setback, Bird is aiming to begin training with the main Dragons group in mid January.

His return to the club on a lifeline marks a full circle moment for a player once considered the best prospect in the Dragons’ junior system.

His move to Cronulla where he made his NRL debut in 2015 was seen as a huge loss for the Dragons to their close rivals.

After winning a premiership with the Sharks in 2016 Bird was one of the most exciting players in the competition, but he doesn’t regret his fateful move to Brisbane.

“You can’t live life with regrets,” he said.

“It obviously didn’t go to plan but it changed me to the person I am today.

“There’s no regrets there, I loved living in Brisbane, I loved the boys up there, it just didn’t turn out the way we all hoped.”

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