JOHN Kear has thanked Leeds for sticking to their word and allowing Rhys Evans to return to the Bulls.

The Wales international centre is training with his former club today to begin a season-long loan.

Evans only joined Leeds at the start of the year after doing the full pre-season regime at Tong.

Now he is back and will face Oldham on Sunday in his first competitive outing of the year.

Kear said: “We were given assurances when he first went to Leeds that if he was not required for the first team, the preference would be for him to play as a Bradford Bulls player rather than in the reserves.

“They’ve been good to their word and I’m delighted. Rhys is a welcome addition to our squad.

“Obviously we didn’t require him last week because he’s a Leeds player and they wouldn’t want him cup-tied.

“But as soon as that was over, I got in touch with (Rhinos director of rugby) Kevin Sinfield.

“It helps when you’ve got a good relationship with a club which we have with Leeds and I have with Kevin.

“Rhys knows our systems and structures so there shouldn’t be a problem fitting him in seamlessly.”

Evans made 15 appearances last year after signing from Leigh, scoring three tries. But he missed just over three months of action with a shoulder injury.

He recently played against the Bulls in the reserve grade – which encouraged Kear to push to get him back.

The Bulls coach added: “That was the one that really flagged it up to us. That’s when we decided to pursue it more vigorously.

“Rhys was delighted to come. He’s like any rugby league player who wants to play regularly.

“He wants to pursue a career in Super League and I wouldn’t stop anybody doing that. He should be ambitious.

“But if that pathway is temporarily blocked, which it appears to be at the minute with the form of the Leeds three-quarters, we’re more than happy for him to play for us at the Bulls.”

There is still an option for the Rhinos to recall him during the loan. But Kear is hoping to hang on to his services for the full term.

“It is a season-long loan and should things go as we hope then it will be,” he said.

“But it’s like anything else. There’s lots of planning and preparation but also an element of reaction as well.

“I’m not saying he’ll categorically be here for the full season. But I’m 80 per cent confident that he will be.”