Warrington loanee Saltonstall hoping to make Super League debut with Bradford Bulls (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Warrington loanee James Saltonstall hoping to make Super League debut with Bradford Bulls
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 are closed on this article.