ROOKIE AJ Wallace has played himself into Bulls contention for the approaching Championship campaign.

That’s the verdict of coach John Kear who has been impressed with how the former England youth international has begun at Odsal.

Back-rower Wallace signed alongside Coby Nichol on a one-year deal from Leeds and has already earned the number 24 shirt for the 2022 season.

Kear can see big things from him – a view backed up by Wallace’s performance when he came on against Batley in the first friendly.

Kear said: “I thought he was my man of the match. We’ve got an absolutely nailed-on first-team player.

“I thought he was absolutely outstanding with the amount of work he did on a heavy pitch against a good team.

“He looked totally at ease with first-team football and it’s very pleasing. If we’ve discovered that from the game, that will do for me.

“We’ve said to the young players that we’re not going to give anyone a shirt unless the coaching staff feel that they’ve earned it.

“We feel that AJ has done that and anybody who was at the game (on Sunday) would realise that he’s earned it. I think we’ve seen a first-team player out there.”

“We’ve got lots of questions we’ve still got to answer. But that first hit-out we’ve had has answered a number of them – and also posed a few more for us as well.”