JOHN Kear believes Steve Crossley is helping loanee Callum Bustin come on leaps and bounds during his Odsal loan spell.

The London-born Castleford prop has scored in back-to-back games and the Bulls coach can see a continued improvement in his game.

Kear said: “Callum is playing outstandingly well and it’s really pleasing to see.

“We feel we’re helping him become a better player but also we’re benefitting from the quality of his play.

“I think he’s getting better on the back of people like Steve Crossley.

“I’d like to think he’s learning from his coaches, both at Castleford and at Bradford, but I also feel you inevitably learn from your peers. Steve is a good role model for any prop forward.

“Callum’s application is tremendous and I’m delighted with what he’s showing at the minute.

“He’s on a season-long loan so there’s no problem at all with that and it’s working well for us.”

Liam Kirk replaces Liam Johnson in the 19-man squad for tomorrow night’s trip to Newcastle Thunder.

Kear has confirmed that Gregg McNally’s torn quad will rule him out until June 9 when the Bulls face North Wales Crusaders at Odsal.

Meanwhile, their chances of bringing back Jy Hitchcox from Castleford remain in the Super League side’s hands.

Kear added: “He’s Castleford’s player and they’ve had injury problems themselves. They’ve just called him back because they needed a winger – there’s no dark motive.

“We loaned him for a month and he was very good and we’d have liked to have kept him longer.

“But I can’t predict what will happen when Greg Eden gets fit or whatever. Obviously, we would welcome him back but it isn’t our decision.”