Union rumours won't distract Hape

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Shontayne Hape admits he has thought about moving to union but insists his priorities lie with the Bulls Shontayne Hape admits he has thought about moving to union but insists his priorities lie with the Bulls

Union target Shontayne Hape will consider offers to switch codes but not before charging into Super League XIII with the Bulls.

The Kiwi star is out of contract at the end of the season and competition for his prized signature is sure to be hot.

A host of Guinness Premiership and Super League clubs are believed to be vying for the classy centre while reports in New Zealand say he has already agreed terms with Northampton Saints.

The Telegraph & Argus understands that is wide of the mark though and Hape won't be heading to Franklin's Gardens.

"Bradford is my team and at the moment I'm playing with them," insisted the international ace.

"Super League is starting this weekend and I can't wait to get out there with Bulls.

All these rumours linking me with rugby (union) are just that. It's nice to be wanted but it's not for now

Shontayne Hape

"All these rumours linking me with rugby (union) are just that.

"It's nice to be wanted but it's not for now. It's a distraction that's not needed.

"I just need to concentrate on playing for Bradford. This is where I want to be."

The success of former Bulls team-mate Lesley Vainikolo with Gloucester and now England has sparked speculation that the dynamic pairing could soon re-unite in the 15-man game.

The earning potential in union far exceeds league and it is likely the 26-year-old will follow the likes of Vainikolo, Jason Robinson and Andy Farrell to the other code.

Hape admitted: "I have thought about rugby (union) and I can see why it's attractive.

"I'm still close mates with Les and speak to him on a daily basis.

"He's doing well there and that's great but that's his career. I've got to concentrate on mine.

"Obviously I am out of contract this year and I've got to assess everything and sit down with my manager.

"I'm coming towards the back end of my career and I need to go where the best deal is for me and my family.

"That may be rugby but I've been here six years and it could be an incentive to stay and try to play ten years at Bradford.

"There's a lot to think about but all I'm concentrating on now is us and Wakefield come Sunday."

Hape has reaped 78 tries in just 116 Bulls appearances since moving from New Zealand Warriors and won every major title with the club during a glittering stay.

He wants more though and said: "We're looking for a big start to the season.

"Wakefield are one of those sides who can cause a shock and we know we really have to turn up.

"There's still a lot of rivalry between us as they have four or five ex-Bradford guys in their side.

"It'll still be in the back of their minds how they want to prove something to Steve (McNamara) and our fans, while we've now got a few ex-Wakey guys in our team so it's even tastier.

"We've put last season behind us and now it's all about getting that silverware again.

"I'm really excited about this year with the Bulls and can't wait."

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