Heath L’Estrange all revved up for Super League kick-off with Bradford Bulls

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bulls joint-captain Heath L’Estrange joined his counterparts from the other 13 clubs for the launch of Super League XVIII at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester Bulls joint-captain Heath L’Estrange joined his counterparts from the other 13 clubs for the launch of Super League XVIII at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester

Heath L’Estrange has declared himself fit for action as he sets his sights on putting Wakefield to the sword this weekend and establishing himself as the Bulls’ first-choice starting hooker.

The club’s joint-captain enjoyed a fine game in the first pre-season friendly against Dewsbury but played no part in Danny McGuire’s testimonial against Leeds nine days ago.

He was nursing a slight ankle injury then but says there are no fears over his availability for Sunday’s opener against Richard Agar’s men.

L’Estrange is determined that the Bulls get off to a winning start in the first Super League game of Francis Cummins’ reign and is hoping to get the nod to start the match ahead of fellow joint-skipper Matt Diskin.

L’Estrange, speaking while attending the Super League launch at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester yesterday, said: “Will I be fit for Sunday? Definitely.

“I went over on my ankle during training in the snow two days before the Leeds game but it’s fine now.

“I could have played at a push but it wasn’t worth it for a friendly and now I’m fit I really want to cement my place as the starting hooker.

“I came over here and worked well with Wagga (Wayne Godwin) in my first year and am now working well with Disko.

“I’m happy with the way everything is going at the moment but I would like to get that starting job back.

“That’s up to Franny and whether he chooses me or Disko. But I’m enjoying training and there is definitely a good buzz about the club at the moment.”

The Bulls beat Wakefield home and away last season and another victory this weekend would be the perfect way to begin the new campaign.

L’Estrange is wary of the threat posed by Agar’s side after they reached the play-offs last year on the back of a club-record seven successive wins.

The Aussie said: “Wakefield are a tricky side and they’ve recruited well. Richard Agar is a good coach who knows what he’s doing – but we’re just focused on what we do and on getting the result.

“Just being here at the Etihad Stadium and meeting all the other captains gives you a buzz and I can’t wait for the season to start now.”

L’Estrange and Cummins were joined at Manchester City’s home ground yesterday by John Bateman, who will miss the start of the season as he recovers from a shoulder reconstruction.

But Bateman has been handed a major boost after being invited to the senior England set-up for the first time.

The 19-year-old back-rower, who captained the England Academy side on their tour of Australia last year, is now poised to make the step up into the England Knights squad.

Steve McNamara’s elite training squad and Knights group will congregate in Bury tomorrow, meeting up for the first time since last year’s autumn internationals.

Bateman said: “I got an e-mail to invite me to the squad and was pretty happy about it. I’ve wanted to take the next step up ever since the end of last year when I played for the under-18s.

“It’s good to test yourself against the best and I’m looking forward to being involved in it this week. Hopefully I can take the next step.”

Bulls scrum half Luke Gale, currently sidelined after ankle surgery, will also attend the Wednesday meeting after playing for the Knights at the end of last season.

Comments (19)

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8:29am Tue 29 Jan 13

Solomon Grundy says...

Gearing up for the start now, cannot wait. COYB!!!!!
Gearing up for the start now, cannot wait. COYB!!!!! Solomon Grundy

9:03am Tue 29 Jan 13

wembley bound says...

How's the prop situation Solomon?
On a lighter note lets have everyone's predictions.
How's the prop situation Solomon? On a lighter note lets have everyone's predictions. wembley bound

9:31am Tue 29 Jan 13

Prycey says...

I would be happy with 8th place this year and a set of financial books that balance properly so that Franny can start looking in the summer to bring in a couple of experienced players for the start of next season. Steady improvement on and off the pitch over the next 3-4 years will do me. Walk before we try and run. Can't wait for Sunday and all that summer rugby. Will I need my shorts and T-Shirt at the weekend?
I would be happy with 8th place this year and a set of financial books that balance properly so that Franny can start looking in the summer to bring in a couple of experienced players for the start of next season. Steady improvement on and off the pitch over the next 3-4 years will do me. Walk before we try and run. Can't wait for Sunday and all that summer rugby. Will I need my shorts and T-Shirt at the weekend? Prycey

10:25am Tue 29 Jan 13

bullybullman says...

I think we will finish 8th this year too & I hope we have good cup run. Cas , Wakey , London , Salford , are deffo behind us imo. I think the Saints will struggle this season HKR could also finish below us.

Warrington
Wigan
Leeds
Hull
Catalans
Huddersfield
Saints
Bradford
HKR
Wakefield
Cas
Salford
London
Widnes
I think we will finish 8th this year too & I hope we have good cup run. Cas , Wakey , London , Salford , are deffo behind us imo. I think the Saints will struggle this season HKR could also finish below us. Warrington Wigan Leeds Hull Catalans Huddersfield Saints Bradford HKR Wakefield Cas Salford London Widnes bullybullman

10:38am Tue 29 Jan 13

Van Bellen's Baby says...

That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express!
That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express! Van Bellen's Baby

10:50am Tue 29 Jan 13

Van Bellen's Baby says...

I see that rlfans.com thinks we will be 10th as well with HKR and Cas finishing above us. See http://www.rlfans.co
m/indexmain.php?fid=
0&id=997 for more.
I see that rlfans.com thinks we will be 10th as well with HKR and Cas finishing above us. See http://www.rlfans.co m/indexmain.php?fid= 0&id=997 for more. Van Bellen's Baby

11:07am Tue 29 Jan 13

AdeyG'man says...

Let them think what they want. We have some quality players, got rid of some deadwood and hopefully we'll keep them fit for better part of the season and we'll trouble some of the old timers knocking about (warrington!)
Let them think what they want. We have some quality players, got rid of some deadwood and hopefully we'll keep them fit for better part of the season and we'll trouble some of the old timers knocking about (warrington!) AdeyG'man

11:48am Tue 29 Jan 13

Prycey says...

We do have some good experienced players and some very good young players. The young ones may need another year or so but those that are 20+ years old should now start performing as I do think that when you hit the twenties you are maturing a little apart from the props who need longer. This season will depend on injuries. A few and we should hold our own against half of the league and surprise some of the top 4 on occasions. Many injuries in key positions and we could struggle with all teams. Fingers crossed. It’s all good fun though however we go. It’s better than going to work and gives true fans something to look forward to all week!
We do have some good experienced players and some very good young players. The young ones may need another year or so but those that are 20+ years old should now start performing as I do think that when you hit the twenties you are maturing a little apart from the props who need longer. This season will depend on injuries. A few and we should hold our own against half of the league and surprise some of the top 4 on occasions. Many injuries in key positions and we could struggle with all teams. Fingers crossed. It’s all good fun though however we go. It’s better than going to work and gives true fans something to look forward to all week! Prycey

11:53am Tue 29 Jan 13

Blackie-Lawless says...

Van Bellen's Baby wrote:
That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express!
i wouldnt read too much it to Cod eyes predictions. he might have been a decent player but as a coach and a pundit he has been found lacking .
I reckon we will finish in the 8 , but more importantly is finishing in the black, it's only a few short months since we almost had no club at all so i look forward to seeing how we progress this year but am not expecting mirracles. it's a rebuilding process and Rome wasnt built in a day as the saying goes. but we might just cause a few upsets along the way.
[quote][p][bold]Van Bellen's Baby[/bold] wrote: That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express![/p][/quote]i wouldnt read too much it to Cod eyes predictions. he might have been a decent player but as a coach and a pundit he has been found lacking . I reckon we will finish in the 8 , but more importantly is finishing in the black, it's only a few short months since we almost had no club at all so i look forward to seeing how we progress this year but am not expecting mirracles. it's a rebuilding process and Rome wasnt built in a day as the saying goes. but we might just cause a few upsets along the way. Blackie-Lawless

12:35pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Steam Pigs says...

Blackie-Lawless wrote:
Van Bellen's Baby wrote:
That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express!
i wouldnt read too much it to Cod eyes predictions. he might have been a decent player but as a coach and a pundit he has been found lacking .
I reckon we will finish in the 8 , but more importantly is finishing in the black, it's only a few short months since we almost had no club at all so i look forward to seeing how we progress this year but am not expecting mirracles. it's a rebuilding process and Rome wasnt built in a day as the saying goes. but we might just cause a few upsets along the way.
Post of the day Blackie
[quote][p][bold]Blackie-Lawless[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Van Bellen's Baby[/bold] wrote: That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express![/p][/quote]i wouldnt read too much it to Cod eyes predictions. he might have been a decent player but as a coach and a pundit he has been found lacking . I reckon we will finish in the 8 , but more importantly is finishing in the black, it's only a few short months since we almost had no club at all so i look forward to seeing how we progress this year but am not expecting mirracles. it's a rebuilding process and Rome wasnt built in a day as the saying goes. but we might just cause a few upsets along the way.[/p][/quote]Post of the day Blackie Steam Pigs

12:40pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Bulls will be lucky to break into the top 10.
Bulls will be lucky to break into the top 10. Thee Voice of Reason

3:03pm Tue 29 Jan 13

wembley bound says...

Lets have this weeks prediction


Bulls 14-24 wakefield.
Lets have this weeks prediction Bulls 14-24 wakefield. wembley bound

4:27pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Parz says...

wembley bound wrote:
Lets have this weeks prediction Bulls 14-24 wakefield.
Pretty much same score but other way round for me. Bulls 24- 12 Wakey.
[quote][p][bold]wembley bound[/bold] wrote: Lets have this weeks prediction Bulls 14-24 wakefield.[/p][/quote]Pretty much same score but other way round for me. Bulls 24- 12 Wakey. Parz

5:39pm Tue 29 Jan 13

olicanabull says...

B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three.
B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three. olicanabull

5:41pm Tue 29 Jan 13

olicanabull says...

B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three.
B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three. olicanabull

5:41pm Tue 29 Jan 13

olicanabull says...

B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three.
B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three. olicanabull

6:01pm Tue 29 Jan 13

bullslad17 says...

olicanabull wrote:
B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three.
Spot on. I'd go for:

Wire
Saints
Wigan
Leeds
Catalans
Hull
Bradford
Huddersfield
Hull KR
Wakefield
London
Castleford
Widnes
Salford
[quote][p][bold]olicanabull[/bold] wrote: B'ullybullman thinks Saints will struggle this year. This is the most unlikely prediction I've heard so far. Saints look formidably strong particularly with the recruiting of Willy Manu. I can't see them outside the top three.[/p][/quote]Spot on. I'd go for: Wire Saints Wigan Leeds Catalans Hull Bradford Huddersfield Hull KR Wakefield London Castleford Widnes Salford bullslad17

9:04pm Tue 29 Jan 13

wembley bound says...

Only 2 of us predicting this weeks result instead people predicting finishing league positions.
What's this weeks Lotto numbers bullslad17
Only 2 of us predicting this weeks result instead people predicting finishing league positions. What's this weeks Lotto numbers bullslad17 wembley bound

11:58pm Tue 29 Jan 13

Adeybull says...

Blackie-Lawless wrote:
Van Bellen's Baby wrote:
That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express!
i wouldnt read too much it to Cod eyes predictions. he might have been a decent player but as a coach and a pundit he has been found lacking .
I reckon we will finish in the 8 , but more importantly is finishing in the black, it's only a few short months since we almost had no club at all so i look forward to seeing how we progress this year but am not expecting mirracles. it's a rebuilding process and Rome wasnt built in a day as the saying goes. but we might just cause a few upsets along the way.
Good to see one or two sensible folk still bother to post on this troll-wrecked anarchaic forum.

Excellent post, sir. Spot on.
[quote][p][bold]Blackie-Lawless[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Van Bellen's Baby[/bold] wrote: That perrenial misery-guts Gary Schofield has predicted we will finish 10th in Rugby League Express![/p][/quote]i wouldnt read too much it to Cod eyes predictions. he might have been a decent player but as a coach and a pundit he has been found lacking . I reckon we will finish in the 8 , but more importantly is finishing in the black, it's only a few short months since we almost had no club at all so i look forward to seeing how we progress this year but am not expecting mirracles. it's a rebuilding process and Rome wasnt built in a day as the saying goes. but we might just cause a few upsets along the way.[/p][/quote]Good to see one or two sensible folk still bother to post on this troll-wrecked anarchaic forum. Excellent post, sir. Spot on. Adeybull

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