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Wakefield Trinity Wildcats poised to nick Scruton from Bradford Bulls
Nick Scruton is poised to follow in the footsteps of Jarrod Sammut by quitting Bradford and joining Wakefield.
The Bulls prop is wanted by the Wildcats, and coach Richard Agar last night said he was hopeful of sealing a deal.
Bradford are currently in the hands of Leeds-based administrator David Wilson, whose firm has held talks with Wakefield chairman Michael Carter about signing Scruton.
The former Leeds man, who enjoyed an impressive renaissance last season which earned him a clutch of player-of-the-year awards, was yesterday named in the Bulls’ 19-man squad to face London Broncos tomorrow.
But, with huge question marks over his future, it remains to be seen whether he will play as Wakefield bid to lure him to the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
The move would see Scruton become the third player to leave the Bulls since the club entered administration, following the departures of Garreth Carvell and Sammut.
Agar has experienced similar financial problems during his time at Wakefield, including a spell in administration, and was forced to offload players towards the end of last year amid huge cost-cutting measures.
The Wildcats boss told the T&A: “Nick’s a player who, if we could get a deal done, we would be really happy to have on our books.
“I’ve left Michael Carter and the administrator to get on with it, so I won’t speak to Scrutes until a deal gets done.
“It was the same when Jarrod signed – I didn’t speak to him until a deal had been agreed – but I can confirm we are trying to sign Nick.
“Less than six months ago, we were also in very difficult circumstances and we took the necessary steps and measures where a number of clubs benefited.
“We’ve been through the hardship and have come through it, so if any Bradford players become available that we feel could strengthen our squad then we would be interested.”
Scruton, whose wife Alice works at Wakefield in a player welfare role, spoke during pre-season of his contentment at Bradford and how he would consider extending his contract, which expires at the end of this season.
The 29-year-old said in December: “I'd love to stay at Bradford if everything's all right and financially stable.
“The situation is what it is. I'm just going to be going out and training as hard as I possibly can and, come game time, play as hard as I can.
“Contracts don't look after themselves but I can't be thinking about that at the minute.
“I've got family and stuff like that to think of as well - but my first choice would be to stay here because I've loved it here this past six years and I don't really want to move. If that's the best option for me, then I will stay.”
However, that was before the club were placed into administration - a process which has left players and staff fearing for their future.
Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul said he could not comment on the speculation surrounding Scruton, and the administrator was also unavailable last night.
It is not clear whether Wakefield have offered a fee for Scruton, who joined Bradford from Leeds ahead of the 2009 season.
Bulls coach Francis Cummins said earlier this week that he “could not blame” any of his players for leaving in the current circumstances.
The loss of Scruton would represent another savage blow but Cummins has already used the loan market shrewdly and could bring Ben Evans back to the club and acquire other players on short-term loan deals.
The club was docked six points for entering administration on Tuesday, prompting a walk-out by directors Mark Moore, Andrew Calvert and Ian Watt.
Their collapsed attempt to buy the club has left the club in the hands of the administrator and searching for a new owner.
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