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Bradford Bulls get heads together with Leicester Tigers
An entourage of Bulls staff switched codes yesterday to swap ideas during a visit to rugby union aristocrats Leicester Tigers.
Coach Francis Cummins led a six-strong Bradford team to the Tigers’ Oval Park training ground, where they met director of rugby Richard Cockerill.
Cummins was joined by football manager Stuart Duffy, head of youth Paul Medley, assistant coach Leigh Beattie, head of strength and conditioning Tom Clough and physio Dan Ramsden.
Leicester are the most successful club in English rugby union after winning a clutch of Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups.
Duffy said: “It was a very worthwhile trip. We were shown around the Tigers’ training ground and had lunch with Richard Cockerill and their performance analyst Simon Barbour.
“We spoke about how both clubs work in certain areas, such as academy structure and strength and conditioning.
“While a club like Leicester can call on considerably greater resources than ourselves – they have a first-team squad of 45 players – there were also a lot of similarities with what we do.
“We were very impressed with what Leicester have in place and were grateful to Richard and his staff for giving their time generously.”
Duffy and Cummins also visited Super League champions Leeds Rhinos earlier this week to speak to Headingley supremo Gary Hetherington about player recruitment, dealing with agents and negotiating contracts.
Former Bulls coach Mick Potter, meanwhile, appears to be edging closer towards landing the coaching job at NRL outfit Wests Tigers.
Craig Kopczak, whose future appears uncertain after he terminated his contract with the Bulls last month, has been appointed Wales captain.
The 25-year-old prop, who qualifies for Wales through his grandparents, will win his tenth cap in the opening game of the autumn triangular tournament against France in Lens today.
Kopczak said: “It is an unbelievable honour. Every one of the boys with Wales have congratulated me and that means a lot to me.
“It will be a proud moment for me to lead the country out against the French. I have gained a lot of experience and leadership in the past years and I hope I can now bring that to the fore.
“There have been a lot of amazing captains for Wales over the years and hopefully I can fill those boots.
“I am just going to put everything behind me now and do everything I can to help the boys win this game on Saturday.”