Luke Gale spells out England ambitions after signing new Bradford Bulls deal

Luke Gale says he has repaid the Bulls’ loyalty to him by extending his contract

Luke Gale says he has repaid the Bulls’ loyalty to him by extending his contract

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

Luke Gale is targeting a place in the senior England side after signing a contract extension which keeps him at the Bulls until the end of 2016.

The England Knights play-maker had been courted by Hull FC during the past week but yesterday joined Adam Sidlow in pledging his future to Bradford.

Gale, 25, was under contract until the end of 2015 but the scrum half, who was recently handed the vice-captaincy by head coach Francis Cummins, has now committed himself for another year.

“The club have been very supportive of me and I wanted to return the faith they have had in me,” said Gale, who looks certain to succeed Matt Diskin as skipper in 2015.

“They’ve been loyal to me and now I want to show my loyalty to them. I’m delighted and excited to have extended my contract.

“I have ambitions to play for England and playing here will help me to achieve those ambitions.

“I want to make Steve McNamara sit up and take notice of me and I’ve got to do that through my performances. I can’t wait to get started.”

Cummins hailed Gale’s new deal as “a massive vote of confidence for everyone at the club”.

The Bulls chief added: “This deal means a lot for the team, the main thing being that our main play-maker has extended his contract – which is tremendous to see, considering what we’ve been through – and also the commitment he is showing to the club and his team-mates is huge.

“He has been playing for England Knights, which shows to me that he is held in high regard in this sport and he has a bright future ahead of him.”

While Gale rejected interest from Hull coach Lee Radford, who spoke openly in the media about wanting to sign the player, Garreth Carvell seems certain to join the Black and Whites.

Blake Solly, the Rugby Football League’s director of licensing and standards, said that the governing body would have no qualms about registering Carvell as a Hull player after he walked out on Bradford last week.

Meanwhile, Richard Lamb and other prospective buyers of the Bulls will meet with the RFL on Friday.

Lamb has already passed the governing body’s ‘fit and proper’ test and is now waiting on information from David Wilson, the appointed administrator of OK Bulls Ltd.

The London-based businessman said he is waiting for Wilson to release to him the Creditors List that led to OK Bulls going into administration – but there are believed to be at least four other groups interested in buying the club.

The Bulls will begin the season without knowing whether or not they face a points deduction because the RFL’s board of directors are not due to meet until next week.

Any potential new owner coming in to buy the club could agree to pay off all creditors, thus reducing what sanctions the Bulls might face.

Lamb said: “All the required paperwork from my end has been sent back to David Wilson at the administrators in Leeds. This should ensure that I gain access to the documents immediately.

“I am very conscious that time is ticking on and that we only have until the end of the month before the end of the RFL window to try and build a robust plan to take the club forward.”

Robert Hicks will referee Sunday’s season-opener at home to Castleford.

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