Bradford Bulls have signed former Hull and Wigan front-rower Epalahame Lauaki on a two-year contract.
The 30-year-old former New Zealand and Tonga international joins the relegated Bulls from NRL side Manly Sea Eagles, where he spent the majority of last season after leaving Wigan
"Epalahame is an extremely talented individual and we are really pleased to have secured his services.
"He has an explosive approach and comes with an ability to wreak havoc in short spells.
"Epalahame gives us something I believe we don't currently have. He certainly adds to an already impressive squad and will prove vital for some of our young and upcoming forwards.
"We have a young roster, so the experience he brings will certainly help aid the future progress of the likes of Dan Fleming, Samir Tahraoui and Karl Davies."
The 6ft, near-18st Lauaki, who twice played against England for the Exiles during his stint in Super League, becomes the 30th member of the Bulls squad for the 2015 Championship campaign.
"I am so excited to be joining such a big and well-known club like Bradford.
"I believe I will bring some experience and toughness to our team and I cannot wait to get started.
"The Championship is a challenge I am looking forward to. We will be going up against some good teams, who will be certainly looking forward to playing us.
"There is a really solid squad in place at Bradford but I want to be in the 17, which means I have plenty of hard work ahead of me."
The Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire has been appointed to the Bradford Bulls board as an non-executive director.
Jasbir Singh Athwal has supported the Bulls for over 30 years – both on a personal level and through business.
“I am really pleased to be a part of the club I have supported for more than 30 years,” said Athwal.
“The chairman, Marc Green, has put a fantastic team in place and I am very impressed with what he had to say about the direction he plans to take the club in.
“I feel honoured to have been asked to come on board and, given the fantastic work being done by directors and staff at the Bulls, I had little hesitation in agreeing to come on board.
“I believe I can bring plenty of experience to the table, having played the game from a young age, and, from a business perspective, I am able to bring a host of new contacts to the club through my network.
“Whatever is asked of me, I will do everything in my power to deliver and help this, the club I adore, reach great heights all over again.”
Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul is a close friend of Mr Athwal and has spoken of his delight, having secured his “invaluable” services.
Hunter-Paul said: “I would firstly like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jas after being awarded the honour and duty of Deputy Lord Lieutenant for West Yorkshire.
“I have known Jas for almost 20 years, when he first became friends with both myself and Henry (Paul).
“It brings me great pleasure to formally introduce him to the club and I am certain his experience in the local business world will hugely benefit the club commercially.
“Jas is a great person and if you spend a moment in his company you will understand exactly what I mean.
“Bradford Bulls, and Bradford Northern, have played an important part in his family’s lives over the years and his knowledge of the game itself is second to none.”
Former Great Britain international Chev Walker has been appointed Bradford Bulls' new captain ahead of their 2015 Kingstone Press Championship campaign.
The 32-year-old former Leeds and Hull KR centre, who will be embarking on his fifth season at Odsal, takes over from Matt Diskin, who retired at the end of the 2014 season.
"Selecting Chev as captain was a fairly straightforward decision for me to make," said Bulls coach James Lowes.
"His leadership skills are second to none and he is the ultimate professional."
Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls are to play each other in the New Year to honour Jamie Peacock, who played for both the West Yorkshire clubs.
The game will be on 25 January at Headingley stadium and could be the only time the clubs meet this season following the Bulls' relegation to the Championship.
Peacock won three Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups and two world club titles between 1999 and 2005 with Bradford before moving to his home town club in 2006. At the Rhinos he has continued his incredible run of success with five more Grand Final wins, two World titles and last year's Challenge Cup Final win.
As the last pre-season game before the Rhinos begin their Super League campaign, Head Coach Brian McDermott is expected to name a strong side.
England coach Steve McNamara spoke of his frustration after watching his side suffer another heartbreaking defeat that puts them on the brink of elimination from the Four Nations Series.
There was a touch of deja vu as New Zealand followed up their last-minute 20-18 win in last November's World Cup semi-final with a 16-14 triumph in Dunedin that secures them a place in next Saturday's final in Wellington.
England could yet play the Kiwis in the final but only if minnows Samoa beat defending champions Australia by fewer than eight points in the last round-robin game in Wollongong on Sunday.
Ryan Hall's controversially disallowed try against Australia in Melbourne last Sunday will now come back to haunt England but they will also feel cruelly denied by the woodwork at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, where Gareth Widdop's first two conversion attempts rebounded off the uprights.
"We are frustrated," McNamara told BBC2.
"We were a fingernail away last week and a width of a goalpost on a couple of occasions this week. We've been involved in three tremendous Test matches.
"They're a young group and we've got some young players within that and to apply themselves the way they have done and to attack the competition the way they've done is a credit to them.
"As we speak now, we're still in it with a chance if Samoa win but we're desperately close."
Needing to win by 10 points to make the final, England's task grew after conceding the first of Jason Nightingale's two tries inside two minutes but Hall and fellow winger Josh Charnley scored tries before half-time to keep them in contention.
Manu Vatuvei's try early in the second half made it 16-8 and, although Hall grabbed a second to extend his record try haul to 24 in just 23 appearances, England once more came up just short.
The former Bradford Bulls boss added: "In the first half I felt we started to get control but New Zealand are a very good team and they hit us with a couple of sucker punches.
"We came out firing at the start of the second half, Josh nearly went in at the corner and Ryan Hall got one disallowed.
"We just allowed New Zealand a couple of offloads that allowed them to get to the other end of the field a little bit too easily.
"Both teams were absolutely out on their feet. There was nothing left at the end.
"It was an unbelievable Test match. We'll come back strongly from this."
England spurned an opportunity to secure a draw with a last-minute kick at goal as they went for the all-important win and captain Sean O'Loughlin did not believe the 10-point target played on their minds.
"We were just going out to get the win and, if we were in a good position, we knew we might have to push the ball to get a try but we were just trying to get that win to start off with," O'Loughlin said.
"It's disappointing but credit to our boys. We had a great dig at them but just fell short.
"It's out of our hands now. We wanted to get there by our own right but we've not done that, which is tough at the minute, but we'll just wait and see what happens now."
Dewsbury born Sam Burgess will be hoping to end his rugby league career on a high today as he plays in the Australian NRL Grand Final.
Bradford Bulls stars are urging the public to join them in swapping their beds for sleeping bags at Provident Stadium, Odsal, for a 'Sleep Out' – in aid of youth homelessness charity Centrepoint and the Bradford Bulls Foundation.
Matty Blythe, Adam Sidlow and Lee Gaskell joined Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul in posing in sleeping bags to launch the fundraiser, which will be taking place in Bradford – for the first time – on Thursday November 6.
Blythe, Sidlow, Gaskell and Hunter-Paul will be joined in the sleep out by the club’s commercial manager Rob Parker and are targeting a further 200 people to join them.
Money raised by the event will be divided equally between the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, which works with more than 300 vulnerable 16-25 year-olds in the Bradford area, and The Bulls Foundation, which uses the power of sport to educate, motivate and inspire the local community with sport and education.
We are delighted to be supporting such an incredible, worthwhile cause and fundraising in such a groundbreaking and innovative manner.
“We would love to see as many people as possible getting involved with this scheme, as we aim to raise huge funds for our official charity, The Bulls Foundation, and Centrepoint, who work tirelessly to support struggling youngsters in our city.
“I myself will be 'hitting the hay' in the Provident Stand and I will be joined by plenty of James Lowes' first-team squad too, so come on down, wrap up warm, get involved and help us do our bit for the local community.”
Sleepers who bed down at the Provident Stadium will get the chance to tour the famous home of the Bulls, meet the players and enjoy local entertainment.
Local restaurant MyLahore is laying on a curry buffet during the evening and Bradford-based supermarket Morrisons will be offering a survivors breakfast for participants who have braved the November night.
80,000 young people face homelessness each year in the UK each year – enough to fill the Provident Stadium nearly four times over. Too many of these young people are exposed to the dangers of the streets.
“That is why we’re asking people to give up the comfort of their beds for just one night. Sleep Out doesn’t aim to replicate the experience that’s impossible.
" But taking part will give people a small insight into what too many young people go through every night, and the money raised will help Centrepoint provide the support they need to leave homelessness behind.”
Visit www.sleep-out.org.uk to sign up. Registration is £25 and participants are encouraged to raise £250.
Bradford Bulls have appointed Karl Harrison as their new assistant coach. Harrison and current head coach James Lowes were part of the Bulls set-up who won every domestic honour in 2003.
Sheffield Eagles have signed former Bradford captain Jamie Langley from Hull KR.
The 30-year-old forward, who won every domestic honour during an 11-year spell with the Bulls, has signed a two-year contract with the Championship club and will also be part of their coaching team.
Sheffield head coach and chief executive Mark Aston said: "We are delighted that Jamie has chosen to join us. I am looking forward to working with him both as a player and as a coach.
"We have a relatively young forward pack and his knowledge and experience will be invaluable to them.
"I am sure that Jamie will quickly become a fans' favourite and build on the reputation he has already gained from his experiences in both Super League and International rugby."
Langley, who was not offered a new contract by Hull KR, said: "It's a new challenge for me and I'm really excited to get going. When I was weighing up my options, I spoke to a few of the Sheffield lads and none of them had a bad word to say about the club."
Langley, who won his only Great Britain cap against France in 2007, is looking forward to cutting his coaching teeth with the Eagles.
"I'm going to be playing first and foremost and I want to play on for as many years as possible," he said.
"Helping on the coaching side of things is really appealing to me at this stage. I feel like I have a lot to offer having worked under some great coaches during my career. You learn little bits from each one and hopefully I can part with some of that wisdom myself."