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Bradford Bulls prop Manase Manuokafoa sets goal for new season
Manase Manuokafoa has vowed to establish himself as one of Francis Cummins’ leading props ahead of Sunday’s clash with Dewsbury.
The towering Tonga international should feature in the Bulls’ opening pre-season friendly against Glenn Morrison’s men at the Tetley’s Stadium.
Manuokafoa enjoyed a fine debut campaign at Odsal after recovering from a knee injury but started only around half of the Bulls’ games.
Now, having been handed the No 10 jersey and a new two-year contract, the 27-year-old is raring to go.
“I can’t wait for the season to start and am really looking forward to facing Dewsbury this weekend,” he said.
“Unlike last year, I’ve had the benefit a full pre-season under my belt leading into 2013.
“I’m feeling confident and I want to improve on last year by getting fitter and stronger. I’ve been working hard on my fitness and increasing my game-time because I want to be a force in the front row.
“Last year I was coming off the bench but I want to cement a starting spot this season.
“I want to take the team forward and lead by example this year.”
Manuokafoa has also been impressed with new recruit and fellow prop Adam Sidlow following his arrival from Salford on a two-year deal.
He added: “Do I like what I’ve seen of Adam? Oh yes, for sure.
“He’s big, fit and mobile and he can offload too.
“I’m really looking forward to playing alongside him. He has trained well and is a good bloke too.”
* Phil Joseph has signed a one-year contract with Widnes following his release from the Bulls at the end of last season.
Joseph, who turns 28 today, has been with the Vikings since the start of pre-season training in late October and played in their 30-22 Boxing Day defeat by Warrington.