BULLS' head of youth Leigh Beattie is thrilled to see academy teenager Lewis Camden called up by Yorkshire for their upcoming Origin clash with Lancashire next month, admitting he would love to see more games like that.

He is also pleased for former charge Matty Race, who has gone on loan to League One side North Wales Crusaders this week, saying the half-back will learn a lot playing at that level.

But back to Camden and that Origin call up, Beattie said: "We have high hopes for him within the academy.

"He's a talented little half but he's excelled at full-back too with all the upheaval.

"There's been no consistency with our games, with Covid and isolation, but he's been consistent as a player. He's got real ability."

Beattie was enthusiastic about the Origin match-up in Leeds on August 4, saying: "It's great, and we should have more of these at junior and senior level.

"Just look at some of the senior games between Yorkshire and Lancashire in the past, they were always good.

"It's great to have Yorkshire and Lancashire back at some level, and we need a lot more representative games.

"It would be brilliant to play more for your town, city or county, whether that's at elite or community level."

Speaking of community level, Camden was a West Bowling junior, as are fellow Yorkshire call-ups Leon Ruan and Will Pryce.

Asked if that shows the strength of the amateur game in Bradford, Beattie enthused: "The community clubs in Bradford are doing fantastic work.

"The numbers are going up after a bit of a lull. My kids play for example, and it's great to go past fields full of youngsters in the city playing rugby league, including plenty of girls.

"It feels as if things are going in the right direction for community clubs in Bradford."

Community clubs have often benefitted Bulls' academy, and that academy has subsequently produced first-team stars.

One of the recent breakthroughs is Race, who has just joined Bulls team-mate and fellow academy product Ethan O'Hanlon on loan at North Wales.

Beattie said: "Matty's not played for however long now, and I know how hard John Kear and Mark Dunning were working to get him out on loan.

"He's needed to play rugby and he'll develop by playing in League One.

"We can coach them in training all we like, but it's not the same as playing with experienced centres and full-backs and having a good coach guiding them through games."

Talented prospects trying to follow in the footsteps of Race looked like they might have to go elsewhere in future, after the RFL took away Bulls' elite academy licence earlier this year.

Fortunately, a U-turn last month means they have been handed a probationary one until the end of 2023.

Speaking about that, Beattie said: "Bulls have always backed their academy and spoken in defence of it.

"It produces great players, and that's a fact, so to think we'd lost it was devastating.

"But now we've got the reprieve, we know we've got some work to do.

"We're ticking a few boxes and getting back on track, but Covid hasn't helped.

"The main thing for me is getting our young lads playing again, as we've have no consistency with our games this season because of the pandemic."

And there is no doubt that Bradford's academy product will only be enhanced by the appointment of new academy & youth director Jason Hirst, who has 40 years of experience in community rugby league.

Beattie said: "Jason will be good for the club, and a valuable addition to the staff.

"He's got vast experience within the community game and the more links we have with those clubs is great for the academy.

"There's only so many clubs I can do myself, so he'll bring that vital knowledge of the community game, alongside Ryan Hunkin and Alex Stephens."