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Jamie Foster at full back for Bradford Bulls opener
Jamie Foster will make his Bulls debut at full back against Dewsbury tomorrow in what could be a trial run ahead of the new season.
The former St Helens winger has been given the nod by coach Francis Cummins to start there, with Brett Kearney set to be absent due to a minor knock.
Foster has already spoken of his willingness to play full back, with Luke Gale’s current absence possibly forcing Kearney into the halves when the season gets underway next month.
Foster, 22, confirmed: “I’m going to be starting at full back tomorrow. Franny put it to me earlier in the week and, as I stated publicly about a month ago, it’s something I’m definitely up for doing.
“I think maybe dropping me straight in there in a Super League game might have been a big ask. But playing there in the friendlies gives me a feel for it, so I can learn a few things about it and just kick on from there.”
Cummins will choose from a squad of around 20 but James Donaldson is not quite ready to be considered and Oliver Roberts may also miss out.
John Bateman, Gale, Ben Evans and Adrian Purtell remain some way off being in contention to feature but Foster and fellow newcomers Matty Blythe and Adam Sidlow should play this weekend.
Foster is set to take any kicks at goal and should start the season as the Bulls’ main kicker.
He said: “I’ve been hitting the ball probably as well as I’ve ever hit it. It’s something I’m going to target this year and hopefully get the kicking duties from Franny.
“Franny and I have not really discussed it but I’ve spoken to Galey and he’s happy with me taking it on. He understands that I’ve done all right in the past couple of years.
“It’s something I’m very keen on doing and hopefully I can help the team by knocking them over.”
The match is Dewsbury’s third pre-season outing following previous matches against Batley and Halifax.
Foster has never been to the Tetley’s Stadium before and said: “I went home the other day and had to ask my grandad where Dewsbury was.
“He said ‘they play at the Tetley’s Stadium’ – but I have no idea whatsoever where it is. I just know it’s close to Bradford!
“The pitch is probably going to be a bit heavy and a little bit slower than what we’re used to.
“I’m sure Dewsbury will be pretty aggressive and try to slow us down but you’ve just got to deal with it.
“We’ve got to make sure we get something out of the game. Okay, it’s a friendly, but we want to come away having performed. We’re treating it pretty seriously.”
Cummins will give all of his match-day squad a run-out and Foster added: “I feel good fitness-wise, so I could do 80 minutes.
“I don’t know any of Dewsbury’s players, to be quite honest, and we haven’t done any video preparation with it being a pre-season friendly.
“Franny has said that we just need to concentrate on ourselves. He knows the game so well because it wasn’t so long ago that he was playing in Super League.”