JORDAN Lilley insists next season is a chance for the Bulls players to prove the doubters wrong, admitting they have been spurred on by some of the criticism over their Super League bid.

The 24-year-old half-back congratulated Leigh for taking that 12th Super League spot on Monday, lauding their recruitment, but he also gave reasons why he would have liked to see Toulouse or York go up.

He also discussed the main difference between Super League and the Championship, having made 18 appearances in the former for Leeds Rhinos in 2016.

Talking about Bulls’ failed Super League bid, Lilley said: “All the players were disappointed, as Super League is where we all want to play our rugby.

“We didn’t build up our chances too much, as otherwise it would have felt like a massive let-down.

“But if you’re not disappointed at all, then I’d say the ambition you should have just isn’t there.

“We were all in good spirits when we returned for training on Tuesday though.”

Lilley turned that negative into a positive, saying: “We want to earn the right to go up, maybe rather than just being given the place.

“We want to prove to those people on social media, who slagged off our bid and said we weren’t good enough to play in Super League, that we do deserve to be there.

“We want to prove them wrong on the pitch.”

In the end, it was Leigh who got to go up without having to endure a gruelling 2021 Championship season, and Lilley said: “I was up for anyone going up, it wasn’t a case of me saying, ‘Oh God, I can’t believe it’s them’.

“I wish Leigh all the best, they’ve recruited exceptionally well and have a lot of Super League quality players in their side.

“I hope they have a good season and that they stay up.

“But it would have been nice to have Toulouse in there. It would have been a good derby against Catalans.

“York would have been good too, with their new stadium and just to have a different team in there.”

Asked what teams can expect going up from the Championship to Super League, Lilley said: “It’s a lot quicker in Super League, the main difference is the speed of the game.

“The Championship is just as tough in terms of the collisions and the ferocity of it all, and having tough teams to play.

“But the big step up is how fast it’s played, and that’s what teams have to be ready for.”

One player who knows all about the speed of Super League is 37-year-old Danny Brough, who joined Bulls from Wakefield this summer.

Like Lilley, Brough is a half-back, and asked how he felt about the veteran coming in, the 24-year-old said: “It’s really exciting to have the chance to play alongside Danny.

“I always like to learn different ways of playing from different people, especially off someone like him, who has Super League and international experience.

“I hope we can form a really good partnership and gain promotion.”