Warrington loanee James Saltonstall hoping to make Super League debut with Bradford Bulls

James Saltonstall playing for  Italy in their shock victory over England in a World Cup warm-up match at Salford in October

James Saltonstall playing for Italy in their shock victory over England in a World Cup warm-up match at Salford in October

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford Bulls Reporter

James Saltonstall believes his month-long stay at the Bulls could provide the launchpad for his fledgling career.

The Warrington utility back has joined Francis Cummins’ squad on a four-week loan deal along with fellow rookies Joe Philbin and Tom Walker.

The move is designed to bolster the Bulls’ numbers and give the trio first-team experience ahead of the upcoming friendlies against Hull FC, Dewsbury and Castleford.

But Saltonstall, who was part of Italy’s World Cup squad after helping them to an historic win over England a week before the tournament started, is already eyeing the prospect of making his first Super League appearance.

The 20-year-old from Halifax, who has two years left on his Warrington contract, said: “At the age I am now, it’s time to kick on so hopefully I can get a chance at Bradford and take it from there.

“If I can play well in the friendlies and make a good impression then we can see what it leads to.

“Certainly joining the Bulls is a great opportunity to get some game-time and show what I’m capable of.

“Franny has said it’s all about having a good attitude and, when you get your chance, to go out and take it.

“Warrington have obviously got a lot of depth in their squad, so hopefully I can get a chance here and get a few Super League games under my belt.

“I’ve got two years left on my contract at Warrington, so I could maybe start off on loan somewhere this season.

“Like I said, I just need to impress the coaches at Bradford and see where it takes me.

“I can play centre, full back or winger, so anywhere in the back five.”

The move to Bradford is ideal for the Yorkshireman, who knows a number of the Bulls squad already.

Saltonstall said: “I still live in Halifax, so it’s not far for me to come here.

“I know a few of the lads, such as Sam Wood, Adam O’Brien and Oliver Roberts, who live locally as I have played a bit of rugby with them when I was younger.

“Everyone has made us feel really welcome and the training has been very good. I can’t fault it.”

Saltonstall, Philbin and Walker have all represented England at Academy level and have an excellent pedigree.

Second-rower Philbin was the only player in Warrington’s Under-19s side to play in every one of their 28 games in 2013.

He was third in the team’s try-scorer list with 18, while imposing Cumbrian Walker came through the ranks at hometown club Cockermouth Titans and spent a brief stint at Workington Town before joining Warrington.

Saltonstall said of the two 19-year-olds: “They’re a couple of young kids just learning their way in the full-time environment.

“Hopefully, being at Bradford will improve them and they will be able to kick on as well.”

Saltonstall was on England Academy’s tour of Australia in 2012 and was then named man of the match at full back for Italy in a 66-30 win against Germany in Karlsruhe in July 2013.

His last game for Italy was on the wing in their famous World Cup warm-up win against England at Salford but he did not feature during the tournament itself, despite being part of the squad.

He added: “It was great to be in camp with players such as Anthony Minichiello and I definitely took things from the experience.

“It should hold me in good stead for the rest of my career.”

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:05am Thu 9 Jan 14

rogerthat! says...

When do we get the real News. No offence to the lad but he is only covering for those Players who are going to take the leap. What is happening at Board level? Is Omar Nokhan back in charge? what players are leaving? come on T&A You must do better, there is a lot going on I am told. why no statement from the Club . Where is Robbie lost his media skills??
When do we get the real News. No offence to the lad but he is only covering for those Players who are going to take the leap. What is happening at Board level? Is Omar Nokhan back in charge? what players are leaving? come on T&A You must do better, there is a lot going on I am told. why no statement from the Club . Where is Robbie lost his media skills?? rogerthat!
  • Score: -2

10:23am Thu 9 Jan 14

bully4us says...

Doesn't it say in the other report that the crucial meeting is today and a statement will be given straight after it? Just wait and hopefully all will be revealed soon.
Doesn't it say in the other report that the crucial meeting is today and a statement will be given straight after it? Just wait and hopefully all will be revealed soon. bully4us
  • Score: 6

3:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

raisemeup says...

bully4us wrote:
Doesn't it say in the other report that the crucial meeting is today and a statement will be given straight after it? Just wait and hopefully all will be revealed soon.
What this indicates is the situation that will develop in more critical terms over the next year> A young player who because of his age can no longer get an academy game at his club, and if his club have a depth of talent in the first team, where can he go? It's either a transfer or on loan to the partner championship club, which of course with Warrington is Swinton, who have a shed load of problems to contend with before they even can start a season.

It is part of the depressing way the RFL seem to be attempting to radicalise the game at this moment.
I get the feeling, with the way the bulls saga has panned out since they were involved, that it's a divide and conquer situation, with a let's start again policy.
[quote][p][bold]bully4us[/bold] wrote: Doesn't it say in the other report that the crucial meeting is today and a statement will be given straight after it? Just wait and hopefully all will be revealed soon.[/p][/quote]What this indicates is the situation that will develop in more critical terms over the next year> A young player who because of his age can no longer get an academy game at his club, and if his club have a depth of talent in the first team, where can he go? It's either a transfer or on loan to the partner championship club, which of course with Warrington is Swinton, who have a shed load of problems to contend with before they even can start a season. It is part of the depressing way the RFL seem to be attempting to radicalise the game at this moment. I get the feeling, with the way the bulls saga has panned out since they were involved, that it's a divide and conquer situation, with a let's start again policy. raisemeup
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree