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Plumber Sam Bates wants to ply his trade with Bradford Bulls
Part-time plumber and former Leeds United prospect Sam Bates admits he would love to become a full-time professional at the Bulls.
The 18-year-old from Halifax, who was on the books at Elland Road as a junior before switching to rugby league, made his first-team debut during the Easter Monday defeat at Wigan.
The rookie prop only trains with Francis Cummins’ squad on a part-time basis as he is studying at Calderdale College to become a trainee plumber.
But his dream lies in making the grade at Super League and he is hoping to make the step up from an Academy starlet to fully-fledged first-teamer.
Bates, whose performance off the bench at Wigan earned him praise from Cummins, said: “If I hadn’t stood up to the challenge on Monday then there was no chance of me playing again.
“It was my only chance because I’m not even a full-time player, so I needed to get that recognition first.
“At the moment I’m a trainee plumber at college on a part-time basis and then go into the Bulls to train two or three times a week.
“I’ve never really had a full day’s training with the first-team, only the team run, as I’m a regular for the Under-19s.
“But I’d love to go full-time with the Bulls and I hope they make their decision pretty quickly to be honest.
“I’m in the last year of my part-time contract but the money is next to nothing and I want to be full-time as soon as possible.
“I would have to give up my national diploma in plumbing but I would end up doing it one night a week to finish it off.”
The former Siddal amateur is now in his third season at the Bulls having joined them from Huddersfield Giants.
He stands around 5ft 10in and weighs around 92kg but held his own against the champions.
Bates, who joined Cummins’ first-team squad for a team-building exercise at Pugneys Country Park in Wakefield on Wednesday, is a relatively late developer in rugby league.
He explained: “I played football for Leeds United for about three years when I was younger and then got a bad knee injury.
“But in my first game of rugby league for my school I got scouted by my service area, so I got thrown into it really.
“Things went from there and I’ve only been playing for about four years. I went to the Giants and then got offered the opportunity to come to Bradford.
“I came here as I was impressed with the facilities and would now love to be a full-time professional.
“I’ve seen friends of mine such as Sam Wood, Alex Mellor, Nathan Conroy and Oliver Roberts all come through the Academy to go full-time with the first-team. I hope I can follow them now.”
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