Bradford Bulls have brought in Huddersfield Giants duo Ash Golding and Olly Wilson on loan for an initial two-week period in each case.
Both were in the squad for the home clash with York, which marked the club’s return to Odsal for the first time since September 2019.
The Bulls have a rearranged home game against Newcastle on Sunday.
Jamaica international and former Leeds fullback Golding, 24, is on his way back from shoulder surgery.
Prop Wilson, 21, came through Bradford’s Academy and played a handful of first-team games before being snapped up by Huddersfield in 2019.
“I always remember Maurice Lindsay saying strengthen when you are strong because people want to join and that has certainly rung true,” said Bulls coach John Kear, whose side went into the York game on the back of five straight wins.
“Olly will add massively to our pack and brings quality, while Ash has more than 100 games behind him and is versatile. They are two great additions.
“We have had a lot of good news with the return to Odsal and these two men joining us and there is a feelgood factor around the place. Long may it continue!”
Kear believes the performance against London Broncos shows Bradford can challenge for promotion to Super League.
With around 300 travelling fans making the journey to London, the visitors were 33-8 winners at Ealing Trailfinders.
Kear had called the game a big test of his side’s credentials to make the top-six play-offs, the winners of which will go up.
And he said: “They passed it with flying colours. They played some really good Rugby League both with ball in hand and – more importantly for me – defensively.
“The defence in the second half was magnificent. They were camped on our line a lot and sometimes they broke our structure down but one player would cover for another.
“They worked so hard as a group. I’m absolutely delighted with their effort and the standard produced.”
LONDON BRONCOS‘ new assistant coach Tom Tsang says he’ll be pulling out all the stops to help Danny Ward guide the capital club back to Super League.
The 36-year-old former Coventry Bears coach has been appointed, initially until the end of the season, to replace Jamie Langley.
Ex-Huddersfield junior and Great Britain Universities representative player Tsang will combine first-team duties with his existing role as the Broncos’ Academy head coach.
Former England and Great Britain international forward Langley is set to join the staff at top-flight rugby union club Sale Sharks.
The 37-year-old, who moved to London in October 2015 and helped the club win promotion to Super League in 2018, was alongside Ward for the last time when the Broncos hosted Dewsbury on Sunday.
Ward said: “Jamie has been a fantastic assistant and his knowledge, guidance, influence and positivity has been a big part of our journey.”
Tsang, who joined the Broncos in October 2019, said: “I’ve got some big shoes to fill, because Jamie is a great coach and has been a big voice within the club.
“It’s been really good to work with him and Danny since I arrived, and I’ve learned a lot from them.
“I’m going to be busy, but I’m passionate about my Academy work, and I think it will dovetail with the assistant coach’s role nicely.
“This is a great opportunity for me, and one I’m ready for. As a club, we want to get back to Super League, and I want to help us achieve that.”
London have signed Ireland international prop Pat Moran after a spell in the French Elite 1 competition with Avignon.
Ward said: “We’re really pleased to have Pat on board. He is someone we have looked at for a while and he’s been playing well in France.
“He will add some much-needed competition for places in our middle, which is an area we have been looking to strengthen for a while.”
NEWCASTLE THUNDER director of rugby Denis Betts has pledged hard work by everyone at the promoted club to provide returning supporters with a team to be proud of.
Thunder, last in the second tier in 2009, when they were based at and known as Gateshead, have made an inconsistent start to the season.
But Betts, who works alongside head coach Eamon O’Carroll, says given the late elevation from League 1 through a bidding process, that’s not surprising.
“This year was always going to be a battle,” said the former Widnes coach in the wake of the 32-0 defeat by Halifax at Kingston Park last time out.
“We learned of our promotion late on, so we had to do our recruitment late on, and after finding the right kind of people, it was a case of getting enough training into them.
“The season has been stop, start so it’s been hard to get any momentum, and like a lot of clubs, we’ve also had quite a few injuries.”
Newcastle’s next game is against Bradford at Odsal on Sunday, when they will aim to add to a win and a draw in their six league games so far.
“We have worked on things we picked up during the Halifax game,” he added. “It’s tough being nilled at home, but we weren’t rolled over.
“We had opportunities but caused ourselves problems through ball control and execution, and we were up against an experienced side.
“After beating Dewsbury, Halifax came here with the bit between their teeth, and after they got the lead, it was hard to wrestle the game back off them.
“With fans being back for the first time for so long, it’s a shame we couldn’t get a win for them, but we will keep working hard.
“Kingston Park is a great stadium which needs people in, and for us, this year is all about getting a foothold in what is a tough division.
“We know we have a decent group, and we know we have to get some more players in and some injured players back and keep working to improve, which we will do.”
SHEFFIELD EAGLES expect to be back at their Olympic Legacy Park home next season after the group leading the development of the stadium secured a £2.7 million loan.
OakNorth Bank has provided the loan to Scarborough Group International (SGI), who in December signed an agreement with Sheffield City Council to create a masterplan for about 850,000 square feet of commercial space at the park, which is a major economic development project to regenerate around 200 acres of former industrial land, including the site of the Eagles’ former Don Valley Stadium home.
In addition to the new stadium, due for completion in February next year, the developer intends to submit a planning application for the first phase of the scheme, which will feature a circa-40,000 square feet enterprise centre to support fledgling businesses in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors, by the end of the year.
The stadium, which will eventually have a 3,900 capacity, will include a three-storey, covered stand alongside 23,000 square feet of business space and ancillary facilities.
The Eagles played on a temporary ground at the new stadium site in 2018 and 2019 before doubts over the development surfaced.
They are currently playing home matches at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster.
Chairman Chris Noble said: “We are delighted to be a major part of the new stadium at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
“A permanent home for the club is something we have long required and desired and the stadium will provide this, with wonderful facilities for our players, staff and spectators.
“It’s exciting to see the project develop this year and we are extremely excited to begin life at the stadium next season.”
SGI chairman Kevin McCabe said: “We’re proud to be contributing to the development of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
“It is set to be one of the leading modern science parks in the UK, dedicated to organisations in the health, wellbeing, sport and activity sectors.”
Former Castleford and Featherstone winger Jack Render, 21, has left Sheffield by mutual consent.
WIDNES VIKINGS fullback Jack Owens says having fans back has provided a big lift as the Vikings target another Wembley appearance and a climb up the table.
Simon Finnigan’s side head to Featherstone for the 1895 Cup semi-final this Sunday having played in the last final in 2019, when Sheffield won 36-18.
Widnes went into their league game at Oldham on Sunday buoyed by a 44-6 home win over Whitehaven, their fourth out of ten in all competitions this year.
“It was great to feel a buzz about the place again, and the noise they made was brilliant, right from the warm-up,” said Owens.
“Hopefully we made them happy with the win, and while we were a bit clunky at times, I think we showed an improvement, which we have to continue.
“We had a few players back from injury, and being able to rotate the forwards made a big difference.
“We know that when we get flowing, we are a good attacking team, and if we can get our defence right, we will kick on.”
Coach Simon Finnigan said: “Our middles set the tone, and that ability to rotate them is important, because it means the forwards on the field can play a different way.
“When players come on with fresh energy, you can really up the ante, and that was noticeable against Whitehaven.
“It was a bit disappointing to concede a try, but I was pleased with the effort and intent shown throughout the team.
“Our defence was generally good, as was our kick-chase and completion rate, and the things we weren’t quite getting right were finer details.
“Those are things we can and will work on, and when you’re a work in progress like we are, that’s acceptable.
“No team is perfect all the time, but as long as you can identify things that are going wrong and try to fix them, you will make progress.”
YORK CITY KNIGHTS coach James Ford says the club are emerging from the worst injury situation he has had to contend with since he was appointed back in January 2015.
The Knights, who are chasing a double of a trip to Wembley for the 1895 Cup final and promotion to Super League, have made extensive use of the loan market to cover for absentees.
They went into their game at Bradford having won four out of seven league games this year, and aim to get the better of Swinton in Sunday’s 1895 Cup semi-final at the LNER Stadium.
York’s only previous trip to Wembley was in in 1931, when they were beaten by Halifax in the Challenge Cup final.
“We have won six out of our last nine against teams in our competition with the worst injury situation I’ve ever seen,” said Ford, whose side beat Sheffield and London Broncos in this year’s Challenge Cup before being knocked out by Super League Wigan.
“But we’re coming through the other side of it and I’m looking forward to us tidying up in one or two areas.”
York played their first match in front of fans at their new stadium when Oldham were beaten 34-6, but Ford felt his side’s performance could have been better.
It was 6-6 when Oldham had fullback Tom Nisbet red carded for a high tackle in the 37th minute, and the home side scored five tries in the second half.
“Credit to Oldham, I thought they came with some aggression and got right into us. But I thought we invited that pressure,” explained Ford.
“We did everything we spoke about not doing in terms of sloppy errors, penalties, poor transitions and not being good enough.
“You can’t do that at this level and expect to be out in front. We’re playing against decent or good sides, so we need to get better.”
DEWSBURY RAMS coach Lee Greenwood might not be a fan of the RFL’s amended loan system, under which the minimum length has been halved to two weeks, calling it “dual registration in disguise”.
But the Tetley’s Stadium chief says he’d be foolish not to take advantage of it, especially in the wake of injuries and player departures.
As the Rams confirmed that prop Frazer Morris and hooker or halfback Jamie Greenwood have left the club due to work and family commitments, they also brought in Huddersfield back Sam Wood on loan.
However Giants prop Jon Luke Kirby has gone back to his parent club after picking up a knee injury which could sideline him for nine months while fellow front rower Jimmy Beckett has returned to Featherstone.
And versatile Jamaica international forward Keenen Tomlinson could be out until July because of a knee injury sustained during the 20-18 win at Swinton.
Dewsbury-born Wood, 23, who has had previous temporary stints at Oldham, Workington, Halifax and Batley and has made more than 40 appearances for Huddersfield, was available for Sunday’s trip to London Broncos.
“In an ideal world, you’d go with the squad assembled at the start of the season, but it seldom works like that,” said Greenwood.
“Like a lot of clubs, we’ve been down on a few bodies, so it’s been a juggling act, and we’ve got little choice but to try and bring a few people in.
“When rival clubs are using the loan system, we’d be foolish not to, and I’m happy to have Sam on board.
“He’s got a fair bit of Super League experience, and he’ll provide a short-term boost as we try to find some new recruits and get some injured players back.”
Dewsbury are next in action at home to Toulouse on Sunday week, June 13.
TOULOUSE OLYMPIQUE coach Sylvain Houles will take advantage of two blank weekends to further integrate Tony Gigot into his squad via the training ground.
The recently-signed France international and former Catalans halfback made an impressive debut as Swinton were beaten 66-18 at Heywood Road.
Gigot was named man of the match as Houles’ promotion hopefuls, next in action at Dewsbury on Sunday, June 13, ran in twelve tries to maintain their 100 percent record.
It’s a second spell at the club for the 30-year-old, who was there during the 2011-12 French domestic season.
Gigot won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in Catalans’ Challenge Cup final win over Warrington at Wembley in 2018.
He has also played for Cronulla, London Broncos, Toronto and Wakefield and is fresh from a third stint with Avignon.
Gigot has linked up with his old Catalans captain Rémi Casty at Toulouse, who have won five and were awarded a 24-0 walkover against London Broncos.
The pair are among ten Toulouse players in the France training squad as preparations for this year’s World Cup continue.
The others are Bastien Ader, Ilias Bergal, Mathieu Jussaume, Mark Kheirallah, Anthony Marion, Eloi Pelissier, Maxime Puech and Justin Sangaré.
Former Catalans halfback Lucas Albert has dropped out due to the knee injury which has delayed his arrival at Toulouse from Carcassonne.
FEATHERSTONE ROVERS chairman Mark Campbell has praised supporters’ loyalty after the club passed the 1,000 season-tickets mark.
It’s a 30 percent increase on last season, and as they look to attract the fans of the future, Rovers are offering every purchaser the opportunity to add a junior member aged twelve or below for free.
Campbell, who is looking forward to Sunday’s home 1895 Cup semi-final clash with Widnes, said: “Rovers supporters never cease to amaze me, their backing of the club as we exit the pandemic has filled me with great pride.
“Record season-ticket numbers, our best start to a season for many years and record numbers of businesses joining our new Centenary Business Club is so pleasing for me as the club has to grapple with the huge financial challenges caused by Covid-19.
“This is a small token of the club’s gratitude for such support and I really do hope that this initiative will attract and retain the next generation of Featherstone fans to the greatest sport of all.”
OLDHAM prop Phil Joy is targeting the home match against Sheffield on Sunday week, June 13, for his first appearance of the season.
The long-serving one-club man has been out of action since damaging a hamstring in the pre-season game against Featherstone.
Oldham-born Joy, 29, has been with the club since 2012 and has made 160 appearances, scoring 27 tries.
He completed a full training session last week and chairman Chris Hamilton said: “That was a huge positive.”
Oldham, who played Widnes at home on Sunday, don’t have a match this weekend, with Hamilton hopeful more injured players will be available against Sheffield.
Those who have been in the treatment room recently include former Wigan halfback James Barran (groin).
Huddersfield back Louis Senior was in the squad for the Widnes game after moving on loan from Huddersfield for an initial two-week spell.
The 21-year-old, whose twin brother Innes is on a season-long stay at Wakefield from the Giants, has scored 14 tries in 23 Super League outings.
“Louis has a good pedigree. He’s played a fair bit of Super League. He will give us some real quality on the fringes,” said coach Matt Diskin.
BATLEY BULLDOGS coach Craig Lingard believes the recent home defeat by London Broncos should act as a reminder that the Bulldogs’ first priority is second-tier survival.
Lingard’s side went into their home clash with Swinton aiming to bounce back from a 40-6 defeat by the capital side at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.
That scoreline was a wake-up call following the four successive wins which sparked talk of a promotion challenge.
Lingard said: “We need to get the points on the board to make sure we don’t get relegated, then see how high we can climb.”
HALIFAX PANTHERS fullback Scott Grix has been given the green light to extend his testimonial year into the early months of 2022.
It makes it easier to reschedule events which have had to be put on hold due to the pandemic.
The 37-year-old Ireland international, who had a spell at the club in 2004, had joined the coaching staff at Huddersfield, but came out of retirement to re-sign for Halifax in 2019.
That allowed him to link up with younger brother Simon, who is head coach at The Shay, where Featherstone visited on Sunday.
Grix, who has been sidelined by a hamstring injury, has also played for Doncaster, Leigh, Widnes, Wakefield and Huddersfield.
Halifax have taken Huddersfield halfback Oliver Russell on loan.
The 22-year-old Giants Academy product has had previous temporary spells at Leigh, Batley and Workington.
Russell, who joins up with loaned-out Huddersfield forward Sam Hewitt at The Shay, played in Huddersfield’s opening Super League match against Hull.
WHITEHAVEN coach Gary Charlton says his side must match their opponents’ intensity levels if they are to climb the table.
The Cumbrians went into Sunday’s clash with Sheffield at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium having suffered five defeats in seven league games, the latest a 44-6 setback at Widnes, where they also lost in the second round of this season’s Challenge Cup.
Haven beat Dewsbury in the first round of the Challenge Cup and have claimed league victories over Newcastle and Oldham, and Charlton said: “We’re always positive, and if we’re committed and go with the right attitude, we can win matches.
“But there’s not going to be any easy games. We shouldn’t expect to just turn up.
“Widnes needed that win and they were running a bit harder and tackling a bit harder than us.”
SWINTON LIONS have signed Huddersfield’s Ireland international prop Ronan Michael and Bradford back Reece Hamlett on loan.
Michael, 20, who made one Super League appearance last year, is fresh from a temporary spell at Whitehaven.
Former England youth international Hamlett, 20, came through Wigan’s development system before switching to Warrington in 2019.
After impressing at Academy and Reserve level, he joined Bradford in November.
The Rochdale Mayfield product had a loan spell at Rochdale Hornets while at Wigan.
Both Michael and Hamlett were in the squad for the trip to Batley.
Swinton visit York in the semi-finals of the 1895 Cup on Sunday aiming to seal a first-ever Wembley appearance.
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