The Bulls have finally accepted they messed up over the Iestyn Harris affair and have now apologised and paid compensation to arch-rivals Leeds Rhinos.

The two warring clubs have at last drawn a line under the prolonged and financially-draining dispute over Bradford's signing of the former Great Britain star.

They have been at loggerheads ever since the Bulls captured ex-Leeds captain Harris on his return from Welsh rugby union in 2004.

A High Court ruled two years ago Leeds had first call on their former player but the clubs have only now come to a settlement, with Bradford paying an undisclosed sum in compensation and costs.

In a statement last night the club said: "Bradford Bulls now accept that, although when they signed Mr Harris they believed that they were free to sign him and acted in good faith in doing so, they now appreciate that in fact Mr Harris was committed to sign for Leeds Rhinos at the time and apologise to Leeds Rhinos for doing so.

"Bradford Bulls have also agreed to pay Leeds Rhinos appropriate compensation and costs."

Bradford also issued an apology for comments made by chairman Peter Hood earlier this year in which he claimed the tug-of-war could cost his club more than £3million if they lost another court case and that could have driven the Bulls into bankruptcy.

The statement continued: "Bradford Bulls also wish to make it clear that the comments made by their chairman Peter Hood, reported in the press at the end of January 2008, were not intended to give the impression that Leeds Rhinos' claims against Harris and Bradford Bulls were motivated by anything other than the protection of Leeds Rhinos' interests."

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