Conjecture has surrounded Garreth Carvell’s future pretty much from the moment it was announced he had signed for the Bulls.
Would he honour his two-year contract or look to secure a deal elsewhere?
Heading into the new campaign, the England international is seemingly destined for a move to Hull FC.
But it is clear from speaking to the 32-year-old that his family is far and away the most important thing in his life.
Carvell’s partner Vicky Scott gave birth to their son, Isaac, in December 2010.
Isaac was born prematurely and required antibiotics which had side effects that caused the loss of his hearing.
Cochlear implants at the age of one has improved his ability to hear and understand speech.
Carvell said: “It was heart-breaking because every parent wants their child to be born perfect.
“The cochlear implants give him access to sound – nothing like how we hear – but as yet he is not speaking.
“Therefore we use a combination of sign language and speech to help him get his point across.
“We took the news really hard because you worry about Isaac’s future and how he’s going to get on.
“For any parent who has a child with a disability, those are your first thoughts.
“How is it going to affect him? How will he get on in the future? Is he going to get picked on?
“Is he going to get held back? You just have to do the best you can by him. You just want him to be happy and have a fulfilled life. That’s all we are concerned about so it was devastating at the time.”
Carvell, Vicky and Isaac still live in Warrington after the former Hull FC prop’s long and successful stint at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
They plan to move back to their native West Yorkshire within the next year, though, which will see Isaac educated at a school in Pontefract with a specialist deaf facility.
Leeds-born Carvell explained: “I’m still commuting but we’re going to move back over to Yorkshire sometime next year.
“There is a school with a deaf facility in Pontefract, which I opened actually, and Vicky’s mum is a volunteer there too.”
Indeed, the stresses and strains of negotiating the M62 on a daily basis pale into insignificance when compared to deafness.
Carvell said: “Looking from the outside in, it might look like a difficult situation.
“But you just deal with it and you can underestimate people at times.
“As human beings I think we are very resilient and you can get a lot done when you need to.
“I know it could be a lot worse but I know it could also be a lot better.
“I’ve had that said a few times ‘it could be a lot worse’ but it’s bad enough for me and bad enough for Vicky.
“But he’s a beautiful little boy and we’ll make sure we give him the best life possible.”
* Read this story and much more in today's Bulls pre-season supplement in the Telegraph & Argus