Bird ready to fly high in Broncos' centres

A fully fit Jack Bird is set to vent his frustrations and form a devastating centre combination with NSW strike weapon James Roberts for Brisbane in the 2019 NRL season.

Hooker Andrew McCullough says the early signs are good that ex-Cronulla premiership winner Bird is finally ready to deliver on his huge price tag this season after a horror Broncos debut year.

Reportedly on $800,000 a season, Bird hardly delivered bang for Brisbane's buck in 2018, restricted to just eight games due to injuries.

But after losing 5kg in the off-season, Bird is set to fly high in 2019 according to McCullough.

"He is out there firing, getting into the contact and getting amongst it and that is what we need from Jack - to compete hard when he is fully fit," McCullough said.

"He has been training in the centres so that is where Jack will be at this stage.

"Jack is in at centre, Jimmy (Roberts) is the other and we will go from there."

Bird's wings were clipped from the outset after moving north, not getting onto the field until round three due to off-season shoulder surgery.

The former NSW game breaker lasted only a few games before he succumbed to a sternum injury which also required an operation.

McCullough admitted Bird was frustrated by his underwhelming 2018 but was ready to live up to his marquee status.

"If I was in that position too, I know I would be frustrated," he said.

"As a recruit getting here, you want to play footy and, when you are carrying injuries, it makes it hard.

"He has been through a tough time now and Jack is slowly getting back to full fitness."

McCullough said the Broncos had also been heartened by the pre-season return of Test back-rower Matt Gillett from a shoulder reconstruction.

Gillett suffered a fractured neck in the opening round but it was not diagnosed until after four more games and he didn't play again in 2018.

The Queensland second-rower also underwent surgery for an ongoing shoulder complaint while sidelined.

"Injuries are never out of your squad. It is how you adjust to them but we missed Gillett and Birdy last year who are key guys in key positions for us," McCullough said.

"It's good having them back and out there from day one."