LEE Smith has welcomed the addition of strength and conditioning expert Chris Black to the Bulls' backroom staff.

The squad have been back working at their Tong training base this week under the guidance of new physios Matt Dukes and Aaron Scholes as well as Black.

His appointment on a full-time basis is seen by Smith as a sign that the club mean business for the 2018 campaign.

Smith, now the senior figure in the changing room, said: "The guys have set up a partnership with Bradford University to bring in some masseurs to help out at Tong. But bringing in Chris Black is a massive coup for us.

"He was the Leeds head conditioner when they won the treble in 2015. He's well educated and everyone will be buying into his stuff.

"There is no doubt we will get where we need to be in this pre-season and start the season on fire."

Smith will be hoping to put his injury frustrations from the Championship behind him. He has been impressed with the recruitment as the new arrivals look to bed in during the first week back.

He said: "We've made some really good signings. We are happy with where we are at the moment, even though it's early days.

"We all need to get used to how each other plays but we are really excited with this feelgood vibe.

"There is a good attitude in the team after finishing the season off well last year and we have brought that into training."

With the squad mixed on a full and part-time basis, the first two sessions have taken place in the evenings. The players were in last night and will be working again tomorrow morning.

The Bulls will play their first friendly on Boxing Day. They have restored the festive fixture to their schedule and face neighbours Halifax at Odsal (3pm).