Newcomer James Evans today recalled how former Bulls coach Matthew Elliott saved him from life as a roofer.

Aussie centre Evans joined up at Grattan Stadium this week following his off-season move from Huddersfield.

The 28 year-old admits plying his trade with the Super League big guns is a fantastic opportunity, having finished this campaign on loan at relegation-threatened Wakefield.

But Evans could have been plying a different trade altogether if it hadn't been for the intervention of Elliott nearly a decade ago.

"I didn't start playing professionally until I was 21 or 22," he recalled.

"I had three years off totally from the game. When I was 18 I just didn't want to play anymore.

"I packed in and went to work with my best mate as a metal roofer. I just cruised along.

"When I turned 21 my mates got me back into it but I was only playing low grade stuff with them.

"It was Matty Elliott who spotted me. He had just arrived at Canberra from Bradford and pulled me out from those lower grades right up into the first team within a year.

"When Canberra came in I obviously took it more seriously and footie was then something I really wanted to do.

"It's an unusual career path and I've been lucky to get through but I'm glad I did now I'm here at Bradford."

Having broken into the Raiders first team, playing alongside the likes of Kangaroos legend Laurie Daley, Evans impressed before suffering a career-threatening injury.

He spent 14 months crocked with a knee injury after being tackled into a goal post and on his return took up Huddersfield's offer to move into Super League.

Evans signed for the Giants in 2004 and proved a quality addition until falling out with coach Jon Sharp midway through this summer, prompting his switch to Belle Vue.

There he featured in the Wildcats' remaining six matches, fortifying their battle against the drop and scoring two tries in their memorable final-night relegation-decider against Castleford.

Wakefield hoped to keep the rangy player, who has represented Wales since moving to England, but Bulls chief Steve McNamara lured him to Odsal on a two-year deal to offer genuine competition to current centres Ben Harris and Shontayne Hape.

Now Evans is relishing the prospect of appearing on the big stage once more.

"I only turned 28 this month and I should be hitting my prime," he continued.

"It's an exciting time for me at Bradford and something I'm really looking forward to.

"This is one of the best clubs in the competition and I wasn't expecting to get a chance here.

"I was surprised but you can't refuse an opportunity to play for a team like Bradford Bulls.

"Knowing Junior (Marcus St Hilaire) and Lee (St Hilaire) from Huddersfield has helped me settle in and the rest of the squad has been fantastic.

"I've always looked up to this team and so to be playing with them and so many great players is amazing.

"There is a lot of competition but I'm happy to play wherever Steve wants me. I'm just going to carry on training hard and then see what the new season brings."

Evans embarked on a 17-day tour of Eastern Europe having secured Wakefield's Super League status, taking in Venice, Slovania, Croatia, Budapest, Prague, Berlin and Amsterdam with his girlfriend before returning Down Under.

He only arrived back in England on Sunday, meaning he had jetlag as well as the usual rustiness to deal with when he reported for pre-season training the next morning.

Evans admitted: "The opening day was tough but it was good to get in and meet all the players and staff.

"It seems like a really professional club but Matt Elliott told me that a long time ago. He was fantastic and both him and Carl Jennings couldn't speak highly enough about the Bulls."