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Teen duo can step into spotlight at Bradford Bulls
Francis Cummins believes Jordan Baldwinson and Mason Tonks have a great opportunity to “make a name for themselves” after joining the Bulls until the end of the season.
The highly-rated 19-year-olds came through the Leeds Rhinos system and joined New Zealand Warriors under-20s ahead of the 2014 campaign.
They were hoping to progress through the ranks into the elite NRL competition but the move has not worked out and the pair have been released by the Warriors.
They will rejoin the Rhinos from next season but spend the coming months helping the Bulls trying to stay in Super League and could debut in next weekend’s trip to Catalan.
Baldwinson, who stands 6ft 3in, hails from Leeds and is particularly highly regarded, having captained the England Academy side, and can operate at prop, second row and loose forward.
Tonks, a Castleford lad, is an attacking second-rower and head coach Cummins said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for both Jordan and Mason and it is also a fantastic opportunity for us as a club.
“Jordan has captained his country at youth level and Mason is hugely talented. I saw a fair bit of them while they were at Leeds and was very impressed by them.
“They now have a great chance to make a name for themselves in Super League by putting down a marker for us in the vital weeks and months ahead.”
Baldwinson appeared for the Auckland club during pre-season friendlies against Gold Coast Titans and Wigan, with Tonks also featuring in the World Club Challenge warm-up game.
In addition, the English duo have made a handful of Holden National Youth Cup appearances for the Warriors.
Baldwinson said: “I have had a great time here, and it has been brilliant coming out to live in New Zealand, but I am really excited about going home to play in Super League.”
Tonks added: “I have loved my time with the (Warriors) lads and have really enjoyed the experience of living here. But I am also looking forward to the chance to further my career.”
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “The Bulls are looking to bolster their squad, so Jordan and Mason going there will be a good experience for them and will assist Bradford.”
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