Wolves in Bulls’ clothing

Bradford Bulls have signed three young Warrington Wolves players on short-term loans for their pre-season fixtures.

James Saltonstall, Joe Philbin and Tom Walker have all joined the Bulls on initial four-week contracts, and will continue to train full-time whilst Warrington partake in a three-week training camp in Australia.

Bradford coach Francis Cummins says the youngsters will help to bolster numbers as the Bulls play three friendlies in as many weeks. But he doesn’t see them staying into the new campaign.

“We’ve got a few bumps and bruises from last year,” Cummins told League Express.

“Our numbers are down and these lads give us a bit of back-up, and they will also provide enthusiasm and quality. We don’t know how big our squad is going to be come the start of the season, so it’s important we rotate as much as possible in pre-season to ensure we’re not burnt out by Easter.”

The Bulls take on Hull FC this Sunday in their first outing of pre-season, and Cummins admits he is looking forward to people discussing Bradford’s on-field exploits after a turbulent off-season off the field.

He continued: “To be honest we’ve been in the middle of a circus with games being played by all kinds of people.

“It will be great to get back to doing what we do. We’ve had a great pre-season, the off-the-field stuff has obviously been a distraction, but the lads and all the staff have been tremendous.”

It was revealed early last week that Frank Winterstein was to depart Odsal without playing a game, but Cummins says he fully understands the 27-year-old’s decision to move on.

“It’s a disappointment to lose anyone; he would have been a great addition to our squad,” he added.

“He and his family didn’t want the threat of administration or not getting paid, which is fully understandable.

“The situation we’re in, it doesn’t really get any worse for players. Getting paid late, not knowing whether you have or haven’t got directors; the instability of it all is difficult.

“However, we have had offers for players who have then come out and said they don’t want to leave despite all that, which is a big boost for us all.”