THE Bulls are keen to take part in the RFL competition being planned to replace this year’s Championship.

The governing body last night decided that the divisions below Super League will not be able to resume in 2020.

Instead, they are offering the option of an autumn tournament to celebrate the sport’s 125th anniversary – with a prize pot of £250,000.

Clubs expect to hear more details of how that might work in the coming days but the Bulls have already made it clear that they would like to be involved.

Chief executive Mark Sawyer: “We’ve got to see what they’d require from us in terms of testing and things like that. We’ve also got to find out how the money would be distributed.

“But subject to us being able to tick the boxes, the Bulls intend to join the competition. We’re very interested in principle.”

Championship and League One clubs will be given the choice whether they want to be included in the tournament, which has been part-funded with financial support from Super League.

The aim is for two groups of teams, based around Yorkshire and Lancashire with the likes of London, Newcastle and the Cumbrian clubs also included if they opt to join.

Teams would play seven games, with the top two from each group then qualifying for the semi-finals and final. It would start in early October when the government are hoping that restricted crowd numbers will be allowed back in grounds.

Clubs were only informed about the competition yesterday so information remains sketchy but the Bulls would count their home games as part of the season-ticket.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bulls coach John Kear would like to be involved in some competitive rugby this yearBulls coach John Kear would like to be involved in some competitive rugby this year

John Kear and his coaching staff have indicated that they would be very happy to be involved in whatever the RFL can come up with for this year. It is now over four months since the Bulls last played a game at Wakefield in the Challenge Cup.

Sawyer added: “John has consulted all his coaches and the players and he’s keen, on behalf of the footballing side, to take part in this competition.

“We’re disappointed that we weren’t able to carry on with the Championship but we can’t say we’re surprised with everything that’s going on.

“At least they have put something up with some prize money so hopefully there will be some matches that the season-ticket holders can attend.

“The RFL have promised some meat on the bone. We’re a long way off dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s but they say they can fit seven matches plus the semis and final within the (two-month) timeframe.

“Clubs now have to decide whether they want to join or not. It certainly won’t be all the teams because I’m sure a lot won’t apply.

“But it at least gives us a chance of playing a few matches.”

The RFL recently carried out a survey of clubs which revealed the overwhelming opposition of playing behind closed doors.

But some also made it clear they could not afford to come back this year anyway, influencing the decision to scrap plans of resuming either lower league.