IT WILL be all systems go for the Bulls if the RFL give the green light for an autumn tournament.

The governing body will make a decision after Friday’s deadline on whether to press ahead with a competition after canvassing all 26 clubs outside of the Super League.

The majority have already made it clear that they will not be playing again this year as they try to minimise the financial damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the Bulls were the first to step up and put their name forward for the chance of playing some meaningful rugby before the end of 2020.

And chief executive Mark Sawyer insists they are in position to move quickly once the decision is made.

Sawyer said: “I can’t knock anyone who has pulled out because I know how difficult it is in running a club. They’ve got to do what they deem best for themselves.

“But when I start pulling staff back in, I believe we will have the resources to deliver some safe matches.

“The staff are chomping at the bit wanting to return to work. Like everybody else, they’ve been parked up for a long period of time and just want the opportunity to come back.”

The signs are hopeful that the RFL will still go ahead even if the much-reduced field could lead to a slimming down of the £250,000 prize pot on offer.

Four Championship teams have officially registered their interest with Sawyer’s own club, Dewsbury, the latest to announce that they would be keen.

Coach Lee Greenwood said: “I really hope there are deemed to be enough clubs that have entered to have a meaningful competition.

“I have heard it said by a few people and I agree – we are a rugby league club and we are here to play rugby league.

“This has been the longest all of us have been away from the game since we started as children and we are desperate to get back training and playing.”

Leigh and Batley have also thrown their hats in the ring while Barrow are known to be keen. York, Featherstone and London Broncos are all yet to declare.

The Knights pulled out of the Challenge Cup last month but the temptation of a smaller field – and therefore greater chance of success – may still tempt them.

Sawyer added: “All the indications are that the RFL are looking to run a competition. What sort of competition will be determined by the number of entrants.

“It’s obviously looking like it will be slimmed down from what they were looking for but I’m positive that we’ll be taking part in a competition.

“It looks like we will still get a handful of games, which is important, and then we’ll get on with getting the capacity put on the stadium.”

Dewsbury have stressed that their entry is conditional on sufficient numbers being allowed in the Tetley’s Stadium, which the Bulls currently share.

The government’s recent postponement of plans for socially-distanced fans at some pilot sports events could also throw a spanner in the works.

The tournament is scheduled to open on October 3 when it was hoped that some crowds would be allowed back in stadia. Any delay could potentially create an issue after clubs made it clear across the board that they would not play behind closed doors.

“We’ve just got to accept that things are changing every day,” said Sawyer. “We’ve got to get on but have that at the back of our minds.

“We’ve had a substantial response to the letter we sent out to season-ticket holders last Friday and the vast majority of fans have been in a position to donate the money to the club.

“I’m thankful for all those who have responded and appreciate that not everybody is in the position to allow the club to receive a donation. I understand that.

“We’ve also had a lot of emails from people being very positive about things, which has gone down well with the staff.

“Everybody’s in it together at Bradford and I think the fans are moving around to that way of thinking.

“They can see that the club have been on the front of the peloton in terms of returning to play. We’ve wanted to get rugby back on for the fans.

“We’ve got a scheme linked through the local health for Bradford where the vast percentage of the testing costs are being off-set.

“We’ve got a team of people we need to provide from our end of the bargain and they are all going to be in place. It will be a safe environment for players, staff and fans.

“We know it’s going to involve hard work in delivering these matches. We haven’t taken the easy option because I feel we're in the position to play.”