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Home James! Bradford Bulls ace Donaldson can enjoy Christmas in Cumbria
James Donaldson is not complaining about the Bulls’ inactivity over the festive season.
Coach Francis Cummins has opted not to play the traditional Boxing Day fixture at Castleford and has instead given his squad 11 days off between Christmas and New Year.
The Bulls will play just two friendlies before the Super League opener at home to Wakefield on February 3.
They face Dewsbury Rams away on January 13 before a trip to Leeds for Danny McGuire’s testimonial seven days later.
The opportunity to head home and spend time with family and friends is welcomed with open arms by Cumbrian Donaldson.
“It’s been a bit of a nightmare these past few years,” said the highly-regarded back-rower.
“I’ve had to travel to Cumbria on Christmas Eve, have my Christmas dinner and then travel back down on Christmas Day to get a good night’s sleep for the Boxing Day game.
“It would be nice to go and spend some quality time with my family now I’ve got a lot of nieces and nephews.
“I’m looking forward to a nice big family Christmas.”
The 21-year-old can fill in at loose forward or second row but says he is more bothered about being on the pitch rather than positions.
Donaldson is gearing up for a big campaign after an injury-ravaged 2012 campaign which saw his season ended by a serious knee injury in February.
He added: “I’ll play back row, loose forward, wherever they want to put me.
“We’ll see what happens when the season starts.
“I feel fine and my fitness is going great. It’s good to be back into things.
“I just can’t wait for the season to come round now. You work so hard during pre-season and you just want the games to come.
“There is a good spirit among us and we’re all sticking together like we did last year.
“Hopefully, we can carry that through to the new season now.”