LINDA McLean is not like most other rugby league players, with the Scot combining her Bulls career with her job within the RAF.

She captained the Air Force in their 32-6 defeat to the Army last weekend, in what is an annual match between the pair.

McLean has been part of these big matches for the RAF for six years, but decided to take the plunge recently and play in Super League for Bradford too.

The 31-year-old said: "I've been playing in these RAF fixtures since 2015, and I'd only ever played forces rugby league, but it had been suggested to me that I play in the Women's Super League.

"I was given the offer to trial for Bradford and it's all worked out. I've learnt a lot this year, with it being my first season in Super League."

As for the RAF versus Army showdown, McLean said: "It's always special, but it's been a bit different this year, as with Covid we haven't spent a lot of time together as a team.

"So it was nice to be back with one another at the weekend, and we had a few of the Navy girls playing for us too, as they couldn't raise a full team this year.

"It's normally an annual round robin tournament between the three services, but it's harder for us and the Navy, as we have a much smaller pool of women who play rugby league than the Army.

"The RAF have never actually beaten the Army in one of these games."

Keighley Cougars winger Robert Matamosi played in the men's Army game against the RAF last weekend, and he has missed most of the West Yorkshire side's season due to his commitments to the force.

That is less of a problem for McLean, who explained: "Myself and Alice Fisher are both in the RAF and we both play for Bulls.

"We're based in Lincolnshire, but we have a sympathetic line manager who lets us go for games, so we've only missed a few training sessions really this season.

"With us getting the Bulls fixtures well in advance, Alice and I can manipulate our RAF duties around playing.

"If the pair of us have any out of area duties, we try and do them in the off-season, so I'm off to the Hebrides next week and then the USA in January/February time."

Bulls' campaign ended last month with a Super League Shield semi-final defeat to Featherstone, after they had come second-bottom of the regular season table.

But an upbeat McLean said: "(After a lot of upheaval at the club) we knew we were on a three-year pathway from the start of this season.

"It was always going to be difficult, and it's generally a very young team we have, but I thought we were far better with our performances at the back end of the season.

"Our core group have gelled well, which stands us in good stead going forward.

"The hope for next season is to be a bit more competitive against the best teams and to try and reach the semis of the Challenge Cup.

"By 2023, we're hoping to be seriously competitive at the top of the table."