MARK Dunning would love new boy Michael Hoyle to kick on after the forward made his debut against Featherstone.

But the interim Bulls head coach gave short shrift to any suggestions that the heavy defeat in that game was down to a lack of fitness, though he is grateful for more options against Sheffield this Sunday, including Brandon Pickersgill, who has returned to the club on a two-week loan from Featherstone, with a view to that being extended.

On Hoyle, Dunning said: “He and (hooker) Matty Scott have been a breath of fresh air since coming in from the Army.

“They’ve got great attitudes, are full of enthusiasm and give 100 per cent, everything you’d expect of members of the Armed Forces.

“Matty’s not far off the first team and I’m delighted for Micky making his debut, and we’ll want him to kick on now to put pressure on the matchday squads going forward.”

It was an inauspicious debut for Hoyle in that Bulls were hammered, with some fans critical of the team’s fitness.

But Dunning mused: “If there’s suddenly a fitness issue now, then where was it last Thursday when we beat Widnes?

“Featherstone had that luxury of bringing in internationals to their squad between Thursday and Monday, whereas we were only able to make two changes in Elliot Hall and a trialist in Hoyley.

“I’ve said about it being a three-game block against Widnes, Featherstone and Sheffield, and that we’d need options.

“But they were limited against Fev, we had the 17 who were fit, plus Dave Foggin-Johnston as 18th man, whereas we might be able to freshen up a bit more this weekend.”

He added: “We might have some players back as some who’ve been out were in training on Tuesday.

“We’ll have to assess the bumps and bruises too, because two games in four days is tough even in Super League, so it was really hard for our part-time group.

“Some even had to take time off work to play on Monday.

“Brad England got that calf injury though and it’s still delicate. We hope he won’t be out for too long, but he’s not ready to go this weekend.”