Mark Dunning out to boost claims on Bradford Bulls job

Bradford Bulls interim coach Mark Dunning remains in the driving seat to land the job on a permanent basis.

But Chairman Nigel Wood says it’s “in the interests of everyone concerned” to run a full recruitment process to find John Kear’s successor.

Wood reports “a dozen high-calibre applicants”, with the deadline now gone and a shortlist drawn up.

And Dunning, who first joined the Bulls’ coaching team at Scholarship level in 2012 and had been assistant to Kear since October 2018, is on it.

Following Kear’s departure eleven matches into his fifth season as coach, he will take charge of the team for the fifth time when Bradford visit promotion-chasing Featherstone for the latest Premier Sports-televised match tonight (Monday, June 6).

Under Dunning’s command, the Bulls have beaten Whitehaven, Newcastle and Widnes, losing only to York.

“Mark has the confidence of the club going forward, and we are pleased with his work so far,” said Wood.

“But as you would expect, we have had a number of applications, which we have gone through carefully, and it’s in the interests of everyone concerned to run a proper recruitment process, which we are currently going forward with.”

Despite losing backrower Brad England to a torn calf, Dunning was pleased with Thursday’s 31-6 win at Widnes, saying: “We had a plan and we executed it very well.

“We showed a real togetherness and hunger to make sure we got the two points.”

Featherstone bounced back from their 1895 Cup final defeat by Leigh by beating Newcastle 46-10 on Thursday.

It was a twelfth win in 13 league games for former Bradford player Brian McDermott’s side, who have dropped just one point, in a 20-20 draw at Batley in March.

Featherstone 21-man squad: Brandon Pickersgill, Luke Briscoe, Joey Leilua, Craig Hall, Gareth Gale, Craig Kopczak, Connor Jones, Brett Ferres, Jack Bussey, Matty Wildie, John Davies, Junior Moors, Ben Hellewell, Morgan Smith, Luke Cooper, Adam Cuthbertson, Ryley Jacks, Mark Kheirallah, Johnathon Ford, Tyla Hepi, Sam Eseh.

Bradford 21-man squad: Elliot Kear, Matty Dawson-Jones, Kieran Gill, Ryan Millar, Dec Patton, Jordan Lilley, Anthony Walker, Thomas Doyle, Steve Crossley, Ben Evans, George Flanagan, Jordan Baldwinson, Ebon Scurr, Samy Kibula, David Foggin-Johnston, Elliot Hall, Joe Burton, AJ Wallace, Chester Butler, Muizz Mustapha, Michael Hoyle.

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