Adrian Morley has admitted he felt like an “imposter” after joining the Bulls to play a cameo role in their 2005 Grand Final success against the Rhinos.
The veteran England prop carved his own slice of history at Old Trafford, adding the Super League title to the 2002 NRL crown he won with Sydney Roosters and the 1999 Challenge Cup final victory with Leeds to become the first British player to claim all three trophies.
Yet his arrival from the Roosters at the back end of 2005 – he played six games for Brian Noble’s men – initially led to some dissent within the Odsal ranks.
Morley, writing in his new autobiography ‘Moz’, said: “I was apprehensive about how the lads would treat me. I felt like an imposter.
“I convinced myself that the club wanted me there, yet I couldn’t get the awkwardness of knowing I was taking someone else’s spot out of my head.
“Paul Deacon, Bradford’s half-back, had said publicly he didn’t agree with my joining them because one of his mates would lose their spot.
“He pulled me aside afterwards and said ‘I want you to know, what I said wasn’t personal. I hope you don’t have a problem with it’.
“But the truth is, I would have felt the same. I actually respected Deacs for speaking out because it would have been easier for him to toe the party line.
“The fact he risked a row with his club and his coach, to say what he thought, took real guts on his part.
“He was right, of course. Me being at Bradford meant one of the blokes who’d tolled all year would miss out because of my arrival (it turned out Rob Parker and Andy Lynch both missed games to accommodate me).
“But from a selfish point of view, it gave me a chance to play in the Super League, to scratch an itch that had been growing since I’d heard about Joey (Andrew Johns) joining Warrington, and it helped Great Britain by maintaining my match fitness.
“It was a bit awkward but that’s rugby league; there’s rarely any sentiment to selecting sides. Parker and Lynchy were terrific, like all the boys were.”