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Hood plays down latest Orford speculation
Bulls chairman Peter Hood has dismissed fresh speculation linking Matt Orford with a move away from the club.
Reports in Australia suggested the 32-year-old scrum half could be a target for NRL side Parramatta Eels as a replacement for the departing Kris Keating.
Eels chief executive Paul Osborne even added fuel to the fire by admitting Orford, who is back home while recovering from shoulder surgery, could be the ideal mentor for talented 21-year-old half back Daniel Mortimer.
Osborne is reported as saying: “He might be good for a year or two to help Daniel. There are some good-quality leaders floating around.”
But Hood reacted strongly to the claims and confirmed Orford has provided Bradford with reassurances he will return to the club next season.
“I was alerted to this late last week and, as far as I know, it’s just media speculation,” said Hood.
“I wasn’t aware (Osborne) had commented. If that’s the case, I should remind them that Matt Orford is contracted to Bradford. It seems odd that he would say that knowing Matt’s still under contract.
“Matt has given us reassurances about next season. At the moment he’s just busy doing rehab’ following his shoulder operation.”
Orford signed a three-year deal with the Bulls at the start of the season but had his campaign cruelly ended by a serious shoulder injury last month.
The veteran playmaker is expected to complete his rehabilitation in Sydney before returning to West Yorkshire in November for pre-season training.
Meanwhile, speculation has resurfaced that Harlequins boss Brian McDermott could still be in the running for the Bulls coaching job, despite denials last week.
The Bradford legend had reiterated his commitment to the London side but was then strangely absent from the post-match press conference following the 35-18 win against his former club on Friday.
McDermott could be lined up if a deal for St Helens boss Mick Potter hits a snag.