JOHN Kear is "mystified" George Flanagan has been charged for attacking the testicles of an opponent for the second time in 18 months.

The incident is suspected to have occurred in the 32nd minute of Bulls' 41-16 defeat in the Betfred Challenge Cup by Featherstone last Sunday.

Flanagan, 34, is facing a lengthy ban after the RFL gave him a Grade F charge, the most serious grading open to the review panel which carries a suspension of eight games or more.

Back in 2019, the Bulls hooker was banned for a similar offence with the eight-match suspension ending his season.

"I have seen the incident on numerous occasions, and I am mystified," muted Kear who will join Flanagan at the tribunal on Tuesday.

"I honestly don’t believe you trail people by media, and you don’t find people guilty before they have had a chance to defend themselves.

"I’m not going to speak on behalf of George. We will wait and see the outcome of the tribunal."

If found guilty, Flanagan would join Matty Dawson-Jones, Anthony England, and vice-captain Sam Hallas on the sidelines.

The latter will see a specialist on Monday to work out a return to play plan, expected to last 8-12 weeks, after suffering a broken jaw last weekend.

Kear knows what it is like to sustain the injury and said: "When you have had plates or wires in your jaw you have got to let that settle down and let the bones heal. We will just do what the specialist tells us to do.

"It just shows how brave Sam is that he wanted to continue, it was only myself and the physio that prevented that.

"People sometimes don’t recognise the sacrifices these guys make, both physically and mentally."

The Bulls head coach believes a lot of injuries will appear in these first few weeks of the new season after such a long layoff.

He added: "If you haven’t played in a year, then all of a suddenly you are subject to collisions, equivalent to a 30mph car bump, it takes some getting used too.

"After the Fev game, on Monday and Tuesday, there were a lot of very sore bodies. It will take six-eight weeks until they are back into a routine.

"Everybody in the competition needs to become battle hardened again. It is going to be strange initially but then everything will settle down.

"Look at St Helens in Super League last year, they came back pretty ordinary then they got their act together and ended the season brilliantly. I think that will be the same for a number of teams in the Championship.

"The standard of rugby will get better, week on week. You will see some scratchy games initially and see the proper Championship standard five-six weeks in.

"Whether you are carrying a ball or stopping others, you have got to get your timing right, if you don’t injuries occur."

Bradford wanted to play again this weekend, but, due to their season already commencing, first team friendlies are now not allowed to take place.