Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Bradford Bulls: Wrangle over Craig Kopczak's departure leaves Francis Cummins’ hands tied
Francis Cummins admits the ongoing saga surrounding Craig Kopczak is hindering his recruitment plans for next season.
Wales prop Kopczak terminated his contract of employment with his hometown club shortly before the final match of the season at Catalan Dragons in early September, sparking an investigation by the RFL.
It remains to be seen when the final report will be made public and where Kopczak will be playing in 2013, but Cummins would like the matter resolved as quickly as possible.
He has already lost two props in Bryn Hargreaves and Tom Burgess since the end of last season and, although Manase Manuokafoa looks set to agree a new deal, Cummins is keen to bring in another front-rower with Kopczak’s future seemingly lying away from Odsal.
Yet with the legal wrangle far from resolved, Cummins can only wait to discover whether he can offer new deals to a number of other out-of-contract players such as Shaun Ainscough, Jarrod Sammut and James Donaldson.
Cummins said: “The situation is holding up money in the budget but it’s also holding up other players so they’re being affected by it too.
“I’m not able to make a decision on people I’d like to be honest with and I’d like to keep.
“I can’t offer them anything because that’s the situation we’re in and we don’t know what’s going to come out of this.
“There’s been an investigation going on for a while and I believe the RFL have all the information they need now.”
It is understood the RFL have carried out interviews with all parties concerned and are now drawing up a final report into their findings.
Highly-rated young hooker Adam O’Brien, meanwhile, could head out on loan at some point in 2013 in order to gain regular first-team experience.
Joint-captains Heath L’Estrange and Matt Diskin are currently blocking his path to the first-team and Cummins said a spell at Dewsbury or a rival Super League club could aid O’Brien’s development.
The Bulls coach explained: “At the moment we’ve got three fit hookers, which is probably one too many. Adam could play at Dewsbury or, possibly in mid-season, if everyone’s fit, we could look to get him some Super League experience.
“Adam is certainly a massive part of my plans for the future but we need to get him experience and work out what’s best for him next year.”