Luke Gale admits he simply cannot wait for tomorrow’s opening pre-season friendly against Hull FC.
The Bulls scrum half, appointed as vice-captain during the off-season, is set be partnered in the halves by Jarrod Sammut with new recruit Lee Gaskell expected to start at full back.
After an arduous pre-season, Gale is in excellent physical condition and raring to go after an ankle clear-out to rectify a problem which dogged him for much of last season.
The England Knights playmaker said: “This game cannot come quickly enough because I’m actually the fittest I’ve ever felt.
“I’ve had a bit of trouble with my ankles over the last couple of years but, touch wood, they are fine now.
“It’s like I’m 18 again, so I just can’t wait to get out on the pitch now and put everything into practice.
“We have been coming together really well in training this past week and we would certainly like to put a performance on.”
As Brett Kearney recovers from injury, Gaskell could be given a run full back, allowing Sammut and Gale to continue as the Bulls’ pivots.
Gale added: “To start with I think Gasky will be playing full back, with Jarrod and I at six and seven.
“But when BK comes back it’s all to play for and it keeps us on our toes, which is what good teams need.
“There are times when you probably sit back and there is no-one pushing you, but you can’t do that this year.
“It’s only a small squad but we have a few wingers, for example, so competition is strong there and it’s the same in the halves.
“You don’t want to be looking behind you thinking ‘he’s going to take my spot’, so it leaves you striving to work even harder.”
Gale attracted interest from tomorrow’s opponents several weeks ago and has also come on the radar of Aviva Premiership clubs.
He said: “I’m a Bradford player and I just want to work as hard as I can for Bradford.
“But when other clubs want you it definitely gives you a bit of confidence and I’ll go into the season with a lot of confidence in my ability and my fitness too.
“Rugby union is a different challenge but I think the stand off or scrum half in rugby league would be increasingly suited to it.
“Union is a bit more open these days and the kicking game is important but they have started running a bit more as well.
“Obviously you don’t get the ball as much, and it’s a bit more stop-start, but the likes of Owen Farrell and Stephen Myler moved from league to union at a young age and have done well.
“I played union at school and played No 10 and, although I don’t watch it that often, I do enjoy it.
“Like I said, though, I’m more than happy at Bradford and am looking forward to the season.”