Whilst the Bradford Bulls coaching and backroom staff prepare for the 2014 Rugby League season, we’re cheering on three of the existing squad and one new recruit who are representing their countries in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
The 14th staging of the competition is hosted by England and Wales, with games also being played at stadiums in France and Ireland. The Welsh and Scottish teams are very much un-fancied, but with talent from the Provident Stadium in both squads, a surprise or two may be on the cards.
World Cup Dreams
Winger Elliot Kear and prop Ben Evans are a big part of The Welsh Dragons’ campaign, who, whilst having lost to surprise package Italy, have winnable games against the USA Tomahawks and, the Cook Islands.
Scotland’s Bravehearts have already pulled off an upset by beating a strong Tongan team and will also be facing the Italian Azzurri and our friends from across the pond. New Bulls recruit Dale Ferguson has welcomed club colleague Danny Addy into the international fold for the first time and the talented young scrum-half, who scored a try and a goal in a warm-up game against Papua New Guinea and was instrumental in the victory against Tonga.
Provident Stadium Still A Hive Of Activity
The close season doesn’t mean all is quiet at the Bradford Bulls.
As well as new recruits on the playing side, including another World Cup star in Samoan Frank Winterstein, it’s been all change off the pitch.
Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe both relinquished their roles as co-chairmen of the club, whilst BedzRus owner, Mark Moore, stepped in alongside General Manager Ryan Whitcut pledging to run the team with his head, not his heart.
Moore and Whitcut have also begun the task of recruiting new investors with local businessmen, Ian Watt and Andrew Calvert joining the Board.
Meanwhile, Dr Allan Johnston has been recruited as club Psychiatrist, the first position of its kind in the Rugby League. Dr Johnston will be on hand to oversee the overall mental attitude of the team, offering advice and support as well as resilience training to players. Some of the techniques he’ll be using have been behind the successes of champions such as Olympic cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan. Let’s hope he can have a similar effect at the Provident Stadium!
So, with RLWC13 and nothing but good news coming out of the Club, Bulls fans have plenty to whet their appetite for the 2014 season.
What are your thoughts?