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Bradford Bulls to pack plenty of beef
Francis Cummins insists the Bulls will pack enough front-row power to compete with Super League’s big boys.
The Odsal chief is targeting an experienced prop to complete his squad-building for next year’s campaign.
Cummins has waved goodbye to Bryn Hargreaves, Craig Kopczak and Tom Burgess since the end of last season and England academy prospect Liam McAvoy is Leeds-bound. But he is confident his revamped pack will not lack for beef.
“We’ve got Nas (Manase Manuokafoa) and I’m hoping Nick Scruton will be over all his injuries and we’ll get a full pre-season from him,” said Cummins.
“We might have to look at Jamie Langley as well. He’s not a traditional number 13 for this country and we might do things a different way.
“I’m glad we’ve got Ben Evans and it would be nice to get another one in there with a bit more experience.”
Warrington prop Evans, who has joined on a one-year loan, has yet to make his Super League debut and Cummins will feed him into the team gradually.
He said: “We’ve got to develop Ben. There’s no point in trying to make him play in every game.
“We’ll give him a good pre-season and then he’s got to earn the right. You can’t throw him straight in – physically young men aren’t ready to cope with that.
“He is going to play a supporting role, that’s what we brought him here for.”
Evans is one of three new signings and Cummins is chasing one more prop who has been round the block. He has targets in mind but admits progress has been frustrating.
He said: “These things develop and we’re still looking at a few options. You think you are close to it when you aren’t.
“You always like to get people in early in pre-season but unfortunately you can’t determine that at this stage. Other clubs and agents get involved and you never know.”
Meanwhile, Cummins has left his players in no doubt about how long pre-season will last. He keeps the exact number of days written on his hand.
He said: “I’ve been counting down since the players came back and it’s 79 now. But it’s not that long because there are 30 rest days in that as well.
“I’ve told the players they are down to 49 sessions. But they pointed out that it’s 49 days because we’re often putting on more than one session at a time.
“You need to get every last bit out of each day to make sure we’re ready.”