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James Donaldson facing big fight to re-establish himself at Bradford Bulls
James Donaldson believes Bulls coach Francis Cummins will have a selection headache for next weekend’s Super League opener at home to Wakefield.
Donaldson made his comeback from injury when playing the last 20 minutes of Danny McGuire’s testimonial against Leeds to mark his first action after almost 12 months on the sidelines with the second serious knee injury of his career.
At Headingley on Sunday, the Bulls forward was delighted to finally get back in action, and said: “It was just a relief to be back out there because it’s not been an easy road to recovery.
“There is no better feeling than playing and I couldn’t have picked a better game to come back into.
“From the start, the physio (Dan Ramsden) and Franny discussed things and didn’t want me to play longer than 20 minutes.
“When the game reached the hour mark, I was letting them know that I was ready. I was itching to get on.”
Donaldson has shown admirable fortitude to return to full fitness but now faces another battle to re-establish himself in the side.
Cummins is blessed with a number of talented young back-rowers, and Donaldson added: “Everyone wants to be in the starting line-up.
“I would be happy to get a spot anywhere in the team for the Wakefield game.
“But 20 minutes against Leeds wasn’t enough to show I deserve to start.
“We’re a team and we stick together, so if you’re not in the side then you’ve just got to be there for the lads.
“It’s a new start with a new coach and I’ve got to earn my place.
“It’s going to be a tough decision for Franny at the start of the season and there are going to be some disappointed players. I might be one of them, I might not be.”
Meanwhile, BullBuilder will consider their future at their annual meeting next Wednesday (January 30).
The supporters trust helped to set up a hardship fund for staff who lost their jobs at the Bulls last year, raising almost £29,000.
But they say the club has since become far more accountable to fans since Omar Khan took charge last September.
Furthermore, a number of BullBuilder board members have experienced changes in their personal or professional circumstances and will be stepping down from their posts.
Attendance at the next week’s annual meeting, which takes places in the Coral Stand at 7.30pm, is officially for members only, and membership cards or another form of ID will be required.