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Bradford Bulls: Adrian Purtell fired up for clash against Dragons
Adrian Purtell has Catalan Dragons in his sights this weekend following his successful return after almost ten months on the sidelines.
The Bulls centre played 55 minutes of Sunday’s 34-12 home win over Hull KR which lifted Francis Cummins’ men to third in the Super League table.
Purtell came through the match without any ill effects and is now poised to take another significant step in his comeback in Perpignan on Saturday.
He said: “If we were playing in Perpignan or Odsal it wouldn’t worry me – I’m just hoping to get a spot somewhere in the team.
“I played 55 minutes on Sunday and I needed a good fitness base to be able to get through that amount of minutes.
“It probably worked out perfectly for me. Franny spoke about bringing me on with maybe ten minutes to go but the boys had laid a platform and I worked my way into the game.
“I’d have no dramas about playing big minutes against Catalan but Franny is the coach and we’ll hopefully have players coming back, so he will work out what is best for the team.
“John Bateman came back into the side and was awesome on Sunday. He’s improved massively in the year I’ve been here and will only get better.”
The trip to Perpignan will see Purtell reunited with former Bulls team-mate Olivier Elima, who left the club at the end of last season.
Purtell added: “Ollie is a top bloke and likes to get a bit fiery on the field. No doubt he will have a few fireworks out there for the boys.”
Purtell, meanwhile, has revealed the depth of the support he received as he fought back from the heart attack which placed his career in serious doubt last May.
He added: “The support I’ve had from when it first happened right up until now has been overwhelming.
“It has come from all parts of rugby league – fans from all rugby league clubs in England and back home – and our own supporters have been awesome.
“The club and Franny have stuck by me and hopefully I can repay that faith in the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile, Keith Lulia and James Donaldson are hopeful of being passed fit for this weekend’s trip to France after picking up knocks during Sunday’s win.