Bradford Bulls have announced that Dane Chisholm will return to Odsal for a second spell with the club after agreeing a deal with the Championship club until the end of the season – although Sheffield Eagles insist he is still their player.
Chisholm left Odsal under a cloud earlier this year following the Bulls’ liquidation – but they say they beat off competition from Championship and Super League sides to bring him back to the club. TotalRL understands Featherstone were one of the sides interested in the half-back.
However, the Eagles hit back on Thursday night with a strongly-worded statement saying they view the Bulls’ announcement as an “illegal approach and signing of one of its players”.
They said: “The club has been made aware of the recent announcement by fellow Championship club Bradford Bulls, announcing the signing of Dane Chisholm.
“Dane Chisholm is still a contracted player at Sheffield Eagles and Bradford Bulls has not made contact with Sheffield Eagles with regards to this. The player is still registered with the club.
“As such the club view this as an illegal approach and signing of one of it’s players. The player in question is subject to disciplinary procedures with the club, which are still on going.
“Sheffield Eagles will be making no further comment at this time and will be seeking immediate legal advice with regards to this news.”
The Australian became a firm fan favourite during his time with the Bulls last year, helping them win the Championship Shield.
“It’s awesome, there are a few new faces but it’s a squad of people I do know, a lot of them are very good friends of mine, it’s great to be back around a lot of great mates,” he said.
“They have nailed down ten points now, hopefully we can get back to that zero. I’ve spoken to all the coaching staff and they take it game by game, just trying to get those points back – I’m sure that when we start at zero we will start to set a new goal.
“I haven’t played for about three weeks so I think I might be coming off the bench tomorrow. I’m just stoked to get back out there with the boys now.
“I’ve played with Geoff (Toovey) in the past in Australia at Manly. He’s a great guy I can’t wait to work with him in the future.
“It’s been strange because I’ve been getting a fair bit of stick on Twitter and a lot of questions. I’ve felt bad that I’ve had to hold back letting them know that I’m back but I can finally say it: Chizzie’s back!”
Interim Bulls coach Leigh Beattie said: “Dane played a real important part in the team last season. The way that he runs the middle of the field is unique; he bounces off the other players.
“He’s a dangerous figure because he’s fast, has quick wit and is a real threat to the oppositions line.
“In the changing rooms and down at training, he always played a captain’s style of role. I’ve seen him take charge, which will be important at this point in the year. The younger boys will look up to him.”
Chairman Jas Athwal commented: “We, the board, have been working tirelessly to get his signature: he’s a quality player that can offer a lot to this team.
“It’s a real pleasure to have him back at the club. He brings a great atmosphere to the place, his attitude and his work ethic is outstanding.”