GEORGE Flanagan is aiming to turn the clock back as he makes up for lost time.

The Bulls hooker has finished his marathon ban and returns in the Challenge Cup tomorrow against fourth-round minnows Underbank.

It will be Flanagan’s first game for over six months after being slapped with an eight-match ban for grabbing the testicles of Toulouse full back Hakim Miloudi.

And he is determined to pay back coach John Kear and his team-mates by rolling back the years to his influential best.

Flanagan said: “John doesn’t ever want me to change the way I play the game and I’m too long in the tooth to do that anyway.

“I just want to be the George Flanagan I was in my early 20s, that bubbly character who comes on and can make an impact.

“I want to do what I know I can without getting involved in stupid little stuff. Hopefully I can repay John and the coaching staff at the Bulls.”

Flanagan, who will be making his 200th career appearance, has undergone a gruelling extended pre-season under the watchful eye of head of strength and conditioning Adam Simpson. Sitting out the opening two games has meant an extra schedule in the gym.

He added: “Adam’s done a great job putting me through my paces.

“I obviously missed the last four games of the regular season and we didn’t make the play-offs so that made it even longer.

“It’s been like going through hell and back. I’ve been training three or four times a week and every session has been conditioning, weights, conditioning, weights.

“I’ve been doing a little bit of ball work outside but not much with the squad who were playing.

“Come the Thursday to Saturday, it’s been more about the team and getting prepared for the game. Instead of me doing the team run, I’ve been doing extra conditioning and weights again.

“I’ve not been getting out on the field as much as I’d like so the past few weeks have been a blessing. I’ve been able to go out there with the lads and throw a few balls about.

“Pre-season is never easy anyway and the fact I’ve had to do it a little bit longer has been a bit tortuous. I’m just chomping at the bit to get going again.

“The only time I’ve been out longer than this was when I broke my leg and missed 14 months. I can't wait to get started."

Kear opted not to include Flanagan in the reserves against Castleford and will throw him straight back in against one of the lowest-ranked teams left in the Challenge Cup.

Flanagan, who last played at Barrow on August 11, said: “I was gutted to miss the start of the season. You don’t get much tougher opposition than London and Featherstone.

“But I’m back in the fold this week against an amateur team and we’re not going to underestimate them.

“We’ve got to do what we know we can and hopefully put them to the sword a little bit with a decent performance.

“I just want to get out there playing rugby with the lads again, getting the ball and that contact."”