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Francis Cummins weighs up Bradford Bulls options in Dewsbury twinning deal
Bulls coach Francis Cummins could send a number of fringe men to play for Dewsbury this weekend as the partnership between the clubs begins to gather pace.
Bradford have a twinning agreement with the Championship outfit, which will allow Glenn Morrison’s side to tap in to the players that do not make Cummins’ 18-man match-day squad.
Cummins has met with Morrison about the prospect of certain younger players turning out for Dewsbury in their Championship opener at Doncaster on Sunday.
Cummins will again be without Luke Gale as he recovers from ankle surgery going into the Super League opener at home to Wakefield on Sunday but Heath L’Estrange and Jamie Langley look set to be passed fit.
The Bulls boss said: “Morro and I have had a good chat on the players likely to be available and at the moment it’s between Adam O’Brien, James Donaldson and possibly Danny Addy.
“Who goes to Dewsbury will depend on Heath and Langley being fit but it’s possibly going to be one or two players every week.”
Cummins revealed that Adrian Purtell could have spent time at Dewsbury in order to regain match fitness when he returns to action in early March.
But Purtell’s visa as an overseas quota player does not allow him to play for any other club than Bradford.
The Bulls coach, who hailed John Bateman’s inclusion in the England squad that will meet in Bury today as “excellent news”, said: “Purts can’t play for the under-19s or Dewsbury and that’s something we need to look at as a game.
“But I need him to play somewhere so we’re going to have a look at how we handle his situation. It will certainly be great to have him available again though.”
Cummins, meanwhile, has paid tribute to City’s giant-killing exploits in reaching the Capital One Cup final and says he plans to meet Bantams counterpart Phil Parkinson at some point.
The Odsal coach said that depending on when the Bulls’ home match with St Helens was scheduled for – a decision is expected today from the RFL’s independent board of directors – his squad could possibly head to Wembley to support the Bantams on February 24.
Cummins said: “It’s been great for Bradford and I was at Valley Parade for the Arsenal game. You could see what it means to the fans and it just proves what sporting success can do for a city.
“Let’s not forget that Bradford City have been through some tough times as well – but it just shows how important sport is and how it lifts everyone.
“The respective owners of the Bulls and City are really close but it would be nice to sit down and have a chat with Phil Parkinson. It’s something I’d like to do.”
Meanwhile, the Bulls’ trip to London Broncos is now likely to be played at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday, April 5.
It was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 7 but has been moved due to Harlequins’ Heineken Cup quarter-final with Munster at the Stoop on that day.