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First Million Pound Match sees Wakefield coach take on former captain

Wakefield's Belle Vue will be the venue for whats been billed as the Million Pound match - the difference in financial terms between playing in the Championship and the Super League - and sees 2 traditional West Yorkshire sides go head to head.

Bradford Bulls are hoping to bounce back to the top flight after a year in the second tier, whereas Wakefield are looking to avoid dropping down a division.

To add to the drama the game pits Bulls head coach James Lowes against the man who signed him from Bradford back in the 1990's Brian Smith - now in charge at Trinity:


Wayne Godwin hangs up his boots

Former Castleford Tigers and Bradford Bulls hooker Wayne Godwin has announced his retirement.

Credit: Press Association

In a letter posted on Twitter, the 33-year-old said: "After 15 years playing professional rugby league, I'm sad to announce my retirement from the greatest game of all.

I'd love to play all my life but my body can't take much more. My Knee injury has stopped me playing to the standard I set for myself so I had to make the hard decision to call it a day.

– Wayne Godwin

He will play his final game on Sunday for Championship club Dewsbury Rams after joining two years ago.

Godwin is the fourth player in a fortnight to announce his retirement following Adrian Morley, Richard Mathers and Garreth Carvell.

Former Bradford chairman Jack Bates dies aged 94

Rugby League is mourning former Bradford chairman Jack Bates, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 94.

Bates served on the Bradford board for over 30 years and was an influential figure during the club's transformation from Bradford Northern to the hugely successful Bradford Bulls.

"It is with sadness that we have learned of Jack's death. He was a great servant to both his beloved Bradford Bulls and to the sport of Rugby League."

– Nigel Wood, Rugby Football League chief executive

Purtell to stay with Bradford Bulls until 2017

Adrian Purtell says he has 'really enjoyed' his time with the Bulls and has 'no desire' to move elsewhere. Credit: Press Association

Adrian Purtell has agreed a new two-year deal with Bradford Bulls, extending his stay with the club until at least the end of 2017.

The 30-year-old Australian said he has 'really enjoyed' his time with the Bulls and has 'no desire' to move elsewhere.

“I love the community feel about the Bulls and the way the supporters continue to get behind the club. I am very positive about where this club can go. Super League is where I and everyone else wants to be, and I feel there is enough quality here to ensure we achieve our goal of promotion. I am totally committed to the cause, whether that means top-flight rugby next year or even the year after. The worst-case scenario will see us have another crack at promotion in 2016, with another fantastic team.”

– Adrian Purtell

He joined the club back in 2011, following lengthy stints in the National Rugby League with Canberra and Penrith.


Former Bulls coach wins wrongful dismissal case

Former Bradford Bulls head coach Francis Cummins has won his case for wrongful dismissal against his old club.

Francis Cummings has won his case for wrongful dismissal against Bradford Bulls Credit: Press Association

The 38-year-old former Leeds and Great Britain winger was in charge of the Bulls from September 2012 to June 2014 when he was sacked by the current administration with the team in danger of relegation from Super League.

Cummins had 18 months left on his three-year contract and took his case to the Leeds County Court, which delivered its verdict after a two-day hearing.

Cramer's Leeds-based lawyer Richard Cramer told Press Association Sport: "Francis has won his case. This brings to an end two difficult years for him.

"Damages are to be assessed at a later date but Bradford have been ordered to pay £20,000 in costs on account."

Former Labour MP and Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe, a one-time club director, and former owner of the Bulls, Omar Khan, gave evidence on Cummins' behalf.

Bulls land Featherstone's Mendeika

Bradford have signed Ireland international James Mendeika from Championship rivals Featherstone.

Bradford have signed Ireland international James Mendeika from Championship rivals Featherstone. Credit: Bradford Bulls

The 23-year-old former Warrington and London Broncos utility back, who appeared in all of Ireland's group games against Australia, Fiji and England in the 2013 World Cup, has joined the Bulls with immediate effect on a deal that takes him through to the end of the 2017 season.

"It is great to be back within a full-time environment and I am looking forward to repaying the faith the club has shown in me," said Mendeika.

Bradford coach James Lowes, who coached Mendeika during his time in charge of Warrington, said: "James is a very talented, up-and-coming player and we are pleased to have secured his services.

"Injuries have set him back a little over the past couple of years but he has a long career ahead and he is certainly looking to make a name for himself here."

Lauaki signs for Bulls

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."

– James Lowes, Bradford Bulls head coach

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."

– Epalahame Lauaki, Bradford Bulls' new signing
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