JAKE Mullaney has left the Bulls and headed home to Australia – less than three months after signing a two-year contract extension.

The full back was signed from Salford before the start of last season and, despite a succession of back and hamstring injuries, he emerged as a key player.

But with his girlfriend homesick, the Bulls have granted the 25-year-old a release and he could now search for a club back in the NRL.

Bradford managing director Steve Ferres said: "We're disappointed Jake has left because he was going to be a big part of our team moving forward.

"I had a discussion with him earlier this year and I extended his contract.

"The stumbling point at the time was his girlfriend, who he is due to marry next year, but we managed to persuade him to stay.

"However, his fiancee has since become homesick to the extent that she wants to go back to Australia.

"Jake has obviously followed suit so yes, we're disappointed, but it's important that people are happy.

"While we all love rugby, there are more important things in life. We fully respect Jake's decision and wish him and his partner all the best for the future.

"Jake has made a commitment that if he does return to England within the next three years, then he will be coming back to Bradford. We're happy with that."

Ferres insisted there was no great rush to sign a replacement for Mullaney as the Bulls have three players who can play full back in Oscar Thomas, Johnny Campbell and James Clare.

"If the right person came along at the right time, there would be an interest, but there are other positions in the team that we are actively looking to strengthen," said Ferres.

"Indeed, we're always looking to improve the team in all positions and we believe we're getting a strong pack together now.

"That's going to give us go-forward to play off and we need the halves, backs and strike players to do their job. That's how we're trying to evolve the team."