PLENTY of new faces have arrived at Bulls over the last 12 months, with one in particular standing out to captain Steve Crossley.

Danny Brough may have turned 38 in January, but the stand-off has shown no signs of age catching up with him, after two fine performances in pre-season.

He pulled the strings against Swinton and Keighley, and that has come as no surprise to Crossley.

The prop said: "A fair few of the new lads have impressed me.

"But Danny Brough has been brilliant since he's come in.

"He's brought in a lot of organisation and a lot of experience, which was much-needed.

"Dan Fleming's been brilliant as well, he goes really well in the middle and I'm glad to be playing alongside him at prop."

Despite Brough's brilliance, and a solid start from Fleming, Bulls have struggled in both pre-season games, blowing a big lead to lose 26-22 against Swinton, and staggering to a 22-18 win over depleted League 1 side Cougars.

Crossley admitted: "It's been tough coming back.

"It's been challenging for certain individuals.

"There are players who've been training three or four times a week since they were kids, so for them to go through absolutely nothing for nine months before coming back, and then having that shortened pre-season, it's not helped.

"But everyone's in the same boat, so we need to fix up as quick as we can."

And fixing up is necessary ahead of the Challenge Cup clash at in-form Featherstone on Sunday.

Asked if the friendlies had at least been a good way of getting errors and sloppiness out of the system, Crossley said: "Featherstone is the game that matters now.

"We know the stuff we need to fix up from these two trial games.

"But we'll obviously only have a squad of 17 going into Featherstone, so there won't be as many interchanges and there'll be less disruption.

"We certainly need to get our heads down in training this week and make sure we focus on Fev."

Crossley was full of praise last month for the immaculate 4G surface that Bulls train on down at Horsfall.

But after some overnight rain, the game against Cougars was played on a muddy and heavy grass pitch at Dewsbury.

Asked whether it was tough to make that switch between two vastly different surfaces for training and matches, the skipper mused: "To be fair, it's not something I really think of.

"You go out on to the field to play a game of rugby league, so it doesn't matter what ground you're on, you still need to do the same job each time.

"So that (the surface) shouldn't really come into it."