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Bradford Bulls sign talented young Leeds Rhinos star Liam Sutcliffe
Bulls coach Francis Cummins has pulled off a significant coup by signing top Leeds prospect Liam Sutcliffe on a one-month loan.
The 19-year-old, who scored seven tries in 18 appearances last season, is set to make his debut in Friday’s trip to Hull FC.
The Leeds-born teenager stands 6ft 2in and weighs 14st 6lb and looks certain to partner Luke Gale in the halves for the next month.
Sutcliffe made his senior bow for the Rhinos against St Helens last May and underlined his rich talent with a number of highly impressive displays.
He has the ability to play at loose forward and stand-off and is set to play as a pivot following Jarrod Sammut’s departure and the loss to injury of Lee Gaskell for up to three months.
“Liam is a hugely talented player and we are delighted to have him on board,” said Cummins.
“He offers us another dimension, both at half-back or even at loose forward, and we expect him to improve our team.
“Our current predicament is being well documented and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Leeds Rhinos for offering us a helping hand.
“It is a great gesture and, in return, we hope to offer Liam further Super League experience and even more exposure.
“Brian McDermott and his colleagues are predicting a big future for him. He is just a little unfortunate that some of the game’s greatest halves are in front of him at Leeds.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for him to shine on the big stage and I think it goes without saying that he will feature heavily over the next few weeks.”
Former Bradford prop Brian McDermott said: “We were approached by Francis, regarding Liam, and we are happy for him to go to the Bulls for a month.
“Francis remains a good friend of the club and we know that Liam will be in good hands.
“We saw last season how much Liam developed from the game time he had and this is a great opportunity for him to continue that development.
“As with the other five young players we have away from the club this season, this is a key part of their future progress and the next stage of our development as a club and I am sure Liam will grab the chance with both hands.”
The Bulls remain in special measures due to being in administration but the RFL say they can make loan signings provided the club has the necessary cash flow to fund them.
RFL director of licensing and standards Blake Solly said: “Effectively any club which is in administration is in special measures.
“If Bradford want to sign players then they have to show that their cash-flow enables them to afford it.”
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