STEVE Crossley cannot wait to renew his pack partnership with Anthony England at the Bulls.

England’s capture last month means that the pair will be teaming up for the third time next season.

And the Bulls skipper is keen to get stuck in again with the towering former Wakefield prop.

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Crossley said: “He’s exactly what this club needed.

“I’ve played with Anthony at Dewsbury and Featherstone and we struck up a pretty good partnership together while we were there.

“He’ll be such a massive addition to the squad with the experience he will bring, not just on the pitch but off it as well in the changing room alongside the young lads. They’ll learn a lot from him.

“Everyone thought it was going to be doom and gloom but there’s a lot to be positive about now.

“We’re out of special measures, we can re-sign people, we’ve signed two Super League players.

“We’ve got a lot of youngsters training with us at the minute and they are bringing that enthusiasm. That’s good for pre-season.”

England was attracted to the Bulls by the prospect of playing for John Kear again. Crossley admits the hugely-experienced coach continues to have a massive impact on their prospects for 2020.

He added: “Even Anthony said it, he got word from John that he wanted him here and that was it.

“John’s got that aura about him. He’s a rugby league legend and one of those coaches that you genuinely want to play for because of his passion for the game and his players.”

Crossley has also applauded the promotion of Sam Hallas to the vice-captain’s role after Elliot Minchella’s exit for Hull KR.

“It’s massively well-deserved for Sam,” he said. “He’s one of the players who could easily have gone to another club.

“His contract was up at the end of last season and we didn’t know when we were going to be out of special measures.

“But Sam held on when he could have signed somewhere else. It just shows the passion that he has for the club and what he brings to us on the field.

“He’s very vocal, loves playing the game and gets himself stuck in.”

Meanwhile, fixtures for the Bulls reserve and academy teams were released yesterday.

For the reserves, an opening day trip to tackle Hull FC on Saturday, February 1 (2pm) precedes a home fixture against their cross-city rivals Hull Kingston Rovers on Wednesday, February 5 (7.30pm).

A trip to Leeds Rhinos on the Saturday, February 15 (noon) follows, with the reverse derby fixture taking place on Wednesday, August 12.