BRADFORD Bulls’ interim head coach Leigh Beattie admits he is in the dark about whether his team could be spared from relegation even if they finish in the bottom two of the Kingstone Press Championship this season.
The Bulls were handicapped by a 12-point deduction for their financial crisis before the start of the season.
After winning only five of their first 13 matches, they are still bottom on minus two points, and are four points behind next-to-bottom Dewsbury Rams and eight adrift of third-from-bottom Swinton Lions with nine matches of the regular season left.
But there is speculation that the RFL could be planning a league restructure, with the possible result that Bulls could avoid the third tier in 2018 even if they finish in the relegation zone.
Beattie said: “I could not honestly tell you.
“There are a load of rumours flying around about franchises coming back in 2019 and making the Championship comp bigger and League One comp a development comp, but I am not sure, and I have just heard the rumours the same as everyone else. There is no concrete evidence at all.”
At the moment the bottom two are going down, but the Championship has 12 clubs (all play all twice before the end-of-season competitions begin) and League One 16 clubs.
Beattie, meanwhile, is not expecting to have either Dan Murray or Kevin Larroyer available to face fourth-placed London Broncos at Odsal on Sunday.
“Dan Murray is doing well at Salford and getting game-time, and I don’t think that we will see him again this season if I am honest,” said Beattie.
“Meanwhile, Kevin Larroyer is being kept back by Castleford as a precaution with the Magic Weekend and a midweek game.”
Tigers face Leeds Rhinos on Sunday at St James’ Park (5.30pm) before tackling Widnes Vikings next Friday and Leigh Centurions away on Spring Bank Holiday Monday.