Bird tells Dragons to re-sign Dufty

·3-min read

St George Illawarra centre Jack Bird has urged the club to reconsider letting Matt Dufty go, claiming he is just what the side needs at fullback.

A heartbroken Matt Dufty was close to tears after producing his career-best performance in Thursday night's 52-24 pounding of Brisbane.

Just a week after being told he was not wanted for next season, the off-contract star set up five tries and scored two others on return from a shoulder injury,

His night was so good even coach Anthony Griffin admitted he could understand why fans would be questioning why they are letting their No.1 go.

But while Griffin steered away from talk on changing his tune on the 25-year-old, Bird declared the club needed to rethink their decision.

"Decisions aren't always complete. They can change their mind in the long run and hopefully they do," Bird said.

"I want him to stay at the club and stay around.

"I felt devastated for him when I heard the news that they told him he wasn't going to stay.

"Hopefully they change their mind and re-sign him because he is definitely the player we need at the back."

A St George junior, an emotional Dufty was cheered up the Kogarah tunnel in what looms as his third last game at his local ground.

"I nearly teared up running up that tunnel after the game," Dufty admitted.

"All the fans banging on the cage, it was pretty emotional and I was overwhelmed.

"I grew up in the St George area and played all my juniors here.

"I debuted here and I love playing at the Dragons. It was obviously very heartbreaking (being told to move on), it was a hard pill to swallow."

What Dufty's future holds is unclear.

Almost every club has their No.1 locked in for next season with the exception of Brisbane, who have shown some interest in the fullback.

Ironically, it would otherwise appear the Dragons are the best fit for him, given they are one of the few clubs without a settled fullback for 2022.

While on the pitch, Dufty has either set up or finished 59 per cent of the Dragons' tries.

The fullback claimed he had not approached the club asking for big money, nor does he fully understand why they want to move him on.

"I let him (Griffin) have all the time in the world, I didn't ask for anything," Dufty said, insisting the pair were still on good terms.

"It was obviously a bit of a shock.

"Hook had just come into the club and at the start of the year he wanted me to play some footy.

"And that's what I thought I did. I thought I was playing pretty good.

"But it is what it is. It's not up to me. I just have to try and play some good footy for the rest of the year."

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