Paul Crawley, The Daily Telegraph, November 27, 2013 12:00AM Kangaroos enforcer Greg Bird has lit the fuse for what promises to be another explosive showdown with Kiwis' superstar Sonny Bill Williams in this weekend's World Cup final. Bird and Williams have been literally butting heads for years and in their last encounter there was talk it almost reached flashpoint in the tunnel at halftime when the Roosters were playing the Titans. Williams was clearly frustrated on the field that day with the Titans handing the Roosters what turned out to be their last defeat before they went on to win the NRL grand final. Asked if he expects the rivalry to continue in Manchester, as usual Bird didn't take a backward step: "You have to make it personal. "I am not out there to make friends with people. I am going out there to win a football game. Ahead of Sunday morning's World Cup Final at Old Trafford between Australia and New Zealand, we take a look back at a rivalry that stretches over a hundred years. "You walk off the field and you shake hands and have a chat and have a beer or coffee and do whatever you do but while you are out there it is no holds barred. "You have got to give everything you've got. "I love the challenge, I like coming up against the bigger players. "Sonny has played against me a few times now so he is going to know what is in front of him just like I know what is coming at me. "It is going to be an aggressive, physical battle I'm sure." The history between these two goes back to before Williams went to rugby union and was still playing at the Bulldogs and Bird was at the Sharks. There was a famous moment in 2008 when Bird had Williams wound up and ready to go as the giant back-rower tried to push his face into Bird. Reminded of that incident yesterday, Bird laughed: "I think the top of my head was touching his chin". "We've had a few battles and I'd like to think there is a mutual respect. "I respect him for what he has achieved and how good a player he is but at the same time I want to challenge myself against his notoriety in the game and make him earn it." And that is exactly why Bird is recognised as one of the best big game players in rugby league. Every time he runs onto the field for NSW and Australia he is close to the best forward on the park and in this star-studded Australian squad he continues to hold his place even though he is one of the smallest back-rowers in the modern game. At 102kg, Bird gives away 6kg in weight to Williams and 11cm in height. But you can bet that's all he will give away when he runs out to confront the man most rate the best forward in the game.