CASTLEFORD Grand Finalist Jy Hitchcox and Toronto second rower James Laithwaite have joined the Bulls on loan.

The pair go straight into the squad for Sunday’s home game against Coventry at Odsal.

They have signed on an initial month’s loan but John Kear is hopeful that both will extend their stays for the full season.

Their arrival coincides with the departure of Jake Butler-Fleming, who returns to Toronto ahead of a move back to League One rivals York.

Kear is excited about his latest double capture – and was thrilled to land Super League winger Hitchcox from the Tigers.

He said: “I’d like to thank Jon Wells, Daryl Powell and all at Castleford. Jy is an absolute quality player and played in last year’s Grand Final.

“As soon as we knew we were losing Jake, we felt we had to do something and that was the result.

“I appreciate Castleford’s prompt actions for helping and obviously the chairman because once again he has backed us.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better. He’s been first class.”

Former Warrington pack man Laithwaite arrives at Odsal as part of the club’s dual-reg arrangement with the Wolfpack.

Butler-Fleming was only with the Bulls for a short spell but Kear admitted he was set on moving back to the Knights.

He added: “Jake’s obviously got his reasons. I thought he was settling in quite well and enjoying himself at the Bulls.

“You don’t know what goes on in people’s minds and hearts.

“I know he’s got lots of friends at York and he’s returning over that way to live with the Hull KR full back Anthony Quinlan. They are massive mates and that may well have played a part.

“We wish him well – except when York play us obviously.”

Castleford will not allow Hitchcox to play for the Bulls in the Challenge Cup. Laithwaite is also ruled out of next week’s trip to Warrington because he appeared in Toronto’s 56-6 win over amateur side Kells in the previous round.

Kear said: “We can get them on the field of play for us on Sunday and then they’ll have a full fortnight’s training before we come up against Doncaster.”

Meanwhile, Dane Chisholm has been given a one-match suspension for  Grade B high tackle against Workington.

It means the Bulls half-back will miss the Challenge Cup tie at Warrington a week on Saturday.