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Bradford Bulls still Luke a force after Craig Kopczak move
Luke Gale believes the “core” of the Bulls’ squad remains firmly intact after Craig Kopczak’s move to Huddersfield was finally rubber-stamped.
Homegrown prop Kopczak terminated his contract with Bradford shortly before the end of the regular season last month, sparking an investigation by the RFL.
The Wales captain, who is set to lead his country against England at Wrexham tomorrow, said his decision was made in the interests of his family following the Bulls' financial woes during 2012.
The RFL have yet to make any comment but Huddersfield have agreed to pay Bradford a settlement fee for Kopczak, who still had one year remaining on his contract at Odsal.
Bulls football and media manager Stuart Duffy confirmed: “We’re happy with the agreement that has been reached.”
Scrum half Gale, preparing to represent England Knights in their Alitalia Cup clash against Scotland in Edinburgh on Sunday, said: “The core of the squad is still there.
“They’re our best young players and the likes of Manase Manuokafoa, Brett Kearney, Keith Lulia and Heath L’Estrange are all under contract for next year as well.
“All we need now is a few more players to bulk the squad a bit and I think we will be a real force to be reckoned with again.
“It’s going to be a tough pre-season but, having spoken to a few of the lads, they’re raring to go already. I think it will be a really big year.”
Kopczak said he was relishing the opportunity to play under former Bradford prop Paul Anderson and defended his decision to quit his hometown club.
The 25-year-old said: “I have been fed up reading many of the comments attributed to my decision to simply look after my family’s best interest and we are all happy that this is now behind us and we can move forward in a Giants shirt next season.
“Huddersfield have been top four material for the past few years and the chance to work with Paul Anderson for me as a fellow prop was too good to miss out on.
“I see no reason at all why we can’t be challenging at the very top and for me I want a massive year to lead into the World Cup.”
Meanwhile, Jamie Foster has said he will bide his time over his future after revealing that Bradford are not the only Super League club to have shown an interest in acquiring his services.
The St Helens winger, who held talks with Francis Cummins earlier this week, said: “I want to get my head down, play in Super League and prove myself.
“There is interest from four clubs and I’m not rushing to make a decision.”
Supporters are reminded that the latest fans forum takes place at 7pm tonight in the Coral Stand.