Bulls coach Francis Cummins admits his players are straining at the leash ahead of their opening pre-season friendly against Hull FC.

Cummins’ men host the Black and Whites at Odsal on Sunday, January 19 in the first of three hit-outs before the serious business of Super League gets underway next month.

After the visit of Lee Radford’s side on Sunday week, the Bulls tackle Dewsbury away seven days later before facing Castleford back on home soil on February 2.

The return to playing action will be welcomed with open arms by the Bulls players according to Cummins, who has been left delighted with their efforts during pre-season.

“We train to play rugby league and we’re less than two weeks away from playing a game now,” said the head coach.

“You can just tell with the way the boys are in training – they want to play a game and get that release.

“Obviously with the size of the squad we have to do it a little bit differently during pre-season and I’m not too concerned about results.

“It’ll be nice to get a test to see where we are and we can then maybe give a bit more game time to the younger lads at Dewsbury.

“Then we have Castleford, which is a funny one because we play them in round one, but we’ll do what’s best for us in terms of selection.

“It’s more about getting the little things right than showing our best form.”

Cummins, meanwhile, confirmed he is keeping an eye on Ben Evans’ situation at Warrington as the Wales forward waits to hear whether the Bulls are able to offer him a return to Odsal.

Talks over the club’s ownership are set to continue this week and Cummins said: “I wouldn’t want to bring Ben into this situation until it gets sorted out.

“Another thing is that he went back and played really well for Warrington in their friendly at Widnes.

“Maybe that improves his situation at Warrington but even if he stays there then it’s still another feather in our cap.

“He spent last year with us, got plenty of game time in Super League and went back to Warrington a better player.

“We gave him his Super League debut, he improved as a player and played all those games for us and then for Wales in the World Cup.

“The situation with Ben will play out in the next week or so when our club’s position is clearer and when I’ve spoken to (Warrington coach) Tony Smith.”