Bulls to pay tribute to ‘The Volcano’

BRADFORD BULLS will pay tribute to one of the club’s all-time great players on Sunday as part of the club’s ’20 Years Of The Bulls’ celebration.

Bradford legend Lesley Vainikolo will appear at Odsal for possibly the final time before returning home to his native New Zealand after 13 years of playing both codes of rugby in England and France.

The Tongan-born star won six major honours, including two Super League titles, between 2002 and 2007.

After leaving Bradford in 2007, the dual-code international made the switch to rugby union to sign for Gloucester, before finishing his playing career with spells at French clubs La Rochelle and Rugby Athletic Club Angerien.

Following the full-time whistle of Bradford’s Kingstone Press Championship battle with Dewsbury Rams on Sunday, James Lowes and his players will form a guard of honour for ‘The Volcano’.

The club is urging its supporters to stay behind for a special video montage, paying tribute to Vainikolo.

“Sunday will probably be the last time I ever come to Bradford and visit the Bulls,” said Vainikolo, who clinched two Super League titles, a Challenge Cup and a trio of World Club Challenge crowns during his time with the Bulls.

“It is going to be emotional and a little sad. I miss it now; I have missed it for a number of years and I probably always will. But this chapter is now closing.

“It is time to move on, though, and I am going home to continue my coaching career, which I am looking forward to.

“It feels like the right time for me and my family.

“I am excited yet nervous at the same time, but the time has come for me to start the next chapter of my story.”