VETERAN prop John Bradbury has returned to Bradford Salem after two seasons at his former club Wibsey.

However, the 46-year-old’s primary task at the Yorkshire Division One club will be to bring on the youngsters in his role as second XV captain.

Shay Lane chairman Neil Klenk explained: “Sam Gardner was second-team manager but has played more for the first XV than we imagined so we decided to contact John, who said yes.

“This not only enables him to play alongside his mates, such as Ian Woodwiss and Richard Langhorn, but John can also use his experience to nurture the youngsters in the second XV.

“Bradders has already got some useful ideas as to how we should progress, but we don’t see him playing for the first XV unless we have injuries.”

Bradbury, whose party trick is silencing a room with one bellow, said: “I believe I have made 297 first-team appearances for Salem so it would be nice to sneak another three appearances off the bench.

“But I am also looking forward to bringing on the youngsters in the second team as well as playing alongside older heads such as Ian Woodwiss, Foggy (Richard Langhorn) and possibly Ben Scarbrough.

“My ideas include a fines session to help with team bonding.

“In addition, my wife Jacqueline regularly goes down to Salem, while I also hope to help Simon Markey with the juniors and want to form a team so that my son Freddie, who is four, can play.”

The boost in signing Bradbury, who helped Wibsey win Yorkshire Division Four in 2018/19 before a mid-table finish in the truncated campaign just finished, has been added to by first XV players either returning from long-term injuries and/or other commitments.

Klenk said: “Lock Ben Whitaker has recovered from a cruciate knee injury, which is like signing another player, while back-rower or No 8 Jamie Booth has intimated that he wants to start playing again.

“Scrum half Jamie Simpson is also available to play for us again after taking a law degree.

“This gives us plenty of options at No 9, as we also have Harley Robertshaw and Callum Smith, who was man of the match in his two first XV appearances, available.

“But Jamie can play at No 10, while Harley can also play at No 10 or No 15.”