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."
Bradford Bulls' head coach James Lowes has put the finishing touches to his new-look squad, after completing the signing of scrum-half Harry Siejka.
Siejka, 22, today put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Provident Stadium outfit, completing an exciting 30-man Bulls roster for 2015.
The former Penrith talent burst onto the scene back in 2011 while making his NRL debut for the Panthers, the club he joined for $75,000 – a then record transfer fee for a 16-year-old.
Siejka switched his New South Wales home for New Zealand Warriors prior to the start of last season, before joining St George Illawarra Dragons.
Back in February of this year, the one-time Australian Schoolboys star penned a short-term contract with Super League's Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.
Bradford Bulls coach James Lowes put the finishing touches to his backroom staff and announced five more signings ahead of their 2015 Championship campaign at a fans' forum last night.
St Helens prop Paul Clough, who has spent most of the 2014 Super League season on loan at Widnes, heads the latest list of new faces, which takes the Bulls' total number of signings to 14 and Lowes' squad up to 29. Clough, 26, a former Grand Finalist with Saints, has signed a two-year deal.
"Paul is another fantastic signing for the club," Lowes said. "I think he will be a real leader for us in the pack next season, while offering a lot of guidance for some of our younger guys."
Bradford have also signed centre or second rower Jean Philippe-Baile from Catalan Dragons, prop Samir Tahraoui from Whitehaven and utility forward Lucas Walshaw from Wakefield while second rower Jay Pitts has agreed a two-year deal to make his move from Hull permanent following a loan spell.
Walshaw and Tahraoui have also agreed two-year contracts, while Baile has signed a one-year deal with an option of a second season at the Provident Stadium.
Meanwhile, club captain Matt Diskin, who is to retire at the end of the season, has been appointed as the club's Under-19s coach while former Featherstone head coach John Bastian joins the Bulls as head of youth and the the club have recruited England's strength and conditioning coach Gary Dempsey.
Bradford Bulls have signed New Zealand-born three-quarter Chris Ulugia, who arrives as the ninth new addition to James Lowes' squad for 2015.
The 22-year-old, who can operate at centre, full-back and on the wing, has tonight put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the club.
Ulugia joins forwards Dave Petersen and Karl Davies in arriving from Queensland Intrust Super Cup side Mackay Cutters.
And the former Parramatta Eels junior says he cannot wait to get started, insisting he wants to make a big impact in the red, amber and black of Bradford.
This is a huge opportunity for me and I am delighted to be joining what is one of the most famous rugby league clubs on the planet. I cannot wait to arrive in England and get pre-season training underway, alongside some of my current team-mates. I used to play with Jake Mullaney, so I know him too. That will certainly help with the transition, in terms of getting used to the place and what not. I am aware of the club's aims for next year and I can assure the Bradford supporters that my eyes are solely fixed on helping the Bulls achieve promotion back up into Super League.
Head coach James Lowes insists Ulugia’s capture represents a shrewd piece of business by the club, the Australian-based player becoming the 24th member of the Bradford boss’ new-look squad.
Power and pace are just two of the attributes which the Cutters star will bring to the Provident Stadium next term, according to Lowes.
Chris is a great signing, coming from a club which boasts a fantastic pool of talent. This is a great opportunity for Chris and, having spoken to him, I know how determined he is to hit the ground running. Chris is another addition to an already blossoming squad and is a player whose pace and power will certainly prove beneficial next year.
Ulugia is due to arrive in the UK early next month, prior to the start of pre-season training.
Adrian Purtell has become the latest Bradford Bull to commit his future to the club, after today agreeing a new one-year deal.
The Australian 29-year-old is the fifteenth member of James Lowes' current squad to re-sign ahead of the 2015 campaign, taking the Bulls' new-look roster to 23.
The former NRL star, who enjoyed stints with Canberra Raiders and Penrith Panthers, has scored 10 tries in 21 appearances this term.
According to Purtell, agreeing to stay at the Provident Stadium – for at least a further 12 months – was an “easy” decision to make.
I am very grateful to the club and Jimmy (Lowes) for giving me the opportunity to remain a Bradford player for another year.
I see the one-year deal as a launchpad, ahead of what is going to be a massive year for me personally.
I cannot speak on behalf of the rest of the team, but am desperate to ensure an instant return to Super League next year. I feel as though we have a point to prove and things to put right.
A fantastic squad is being put together behind the scenes, which I believe will give us a great chance of achieving just that.
The board and Jimmy have put together a large squad, packed full of power, pace and quality. I think we will be difficult to beat next year.
Head coach James Lowes has paid tribute to Purtell's intention to help ensure an immediate return to the sport's top flight.
Lowes says the three-quarter's vast experience will prove priceless ahead of the Bulls' debut season in the Kingstone Press Championship.
Adrian is a very experienced player, who boasts bags of quality,” said the Bradford boss. He was very keen to stay and I know how determined he is to play a part in what we hope to achieve next year. Adrian represents another fantastic addition to what is already a promising squad. I cannot wait to get going with pre-season training in October.
Bradford Bulls have announced they have signed Australian Karl Davies on a two-year deal with the club.
The 22-year-old front-rower, known down under as 'The Lumberjack', arrives as head coach James Lowes' eighth new addition for 2015.
Davies has spent this season with Queensland Intrust Super Cup giants Mackay Cutters and is planning to make a big impact at the Provident Stadium.
I believe I can bring a lot to Bradford and am very excited about coming over to ply my trade with the Bulls,” said the 6ft 3ins 17-stone prop forward.
I am an explosive and aggressive type of player, with a strong work ethic.
Next season will act as a fresh start for the club and I am looking forward to getting my teeth into the Championship before, hopefully, playing in Super League the year after.
The squad being put together looks very strong, there are some fantastic names on board and we are going to take some stopping.
Coach Lowes is looking forward to having former West Belconnen Warriors talent Davies on board until at least the end of 2016.
The Bradford boss believe Davies' “unique style” will see him quickly become a fans' favourite.
I am very pleased to have secured Karl for the next two years. He is an explosive prop and he is someone I know will excite our supporters.
You need good, solid front-rowers in any leading side and Australia seems to deliver them. They know the job and do it well.
He is a young and very talented individual and I like what I have seen of him.
He is eager to get across and get started and I believe he has the potential to be a good player for us.
Davies is due to arrive in the UK early next month, before starting pre-season training with his new team-mates.
Three-quarter Ryan Shaw has agreed a deal to become Bradford Bulls' seventh new signing for next season, taking head coach James Lowes' 2015 roster to 21.
The talented youngster began the year as a Warrington Wolves player before departing for Barrow Raiders, where he has gone on to score nine tries in 25 appearances for the Kingstone Press Championship outfit.
Goal-kicker Shaw, who today penned a one-year contract at the Provident Stadium, has previously enjoyed spells with London Broncos, Castleford Tigers, Leigh Centurions and Swinton Lions.
And the former England Academy star is planning on making a name for himself in Bulls colours.
“This is a massive opportunity for me to really prove myself and kick on. I have signed for the next 12 months but want to ensure a much longer stay. The only way I will be able to do that is by earning another contract through hard work. I am very committed to that and want to be a part of the side for years to come.
“I prefer to play in the centres but have experience across the backline, so am able to offer the club a level of versatility. I can play all across the backline which gives me a better opportunity to get in the team. I picked up a lot during my time with Warrington and have enjoyed a taste of Super League, which I want to experience again. With the way the Bradford squad is shaping up for next year, it looks as though we will have the tools to more than compete for promotion – and that is the aim.
Lowes, who coached the Barrow-born talent during his time with the Wolves, says Shaw has the potential to make huge inroads next term. Shaw will only add to the growing competition in Bradford's 2015 new-look backline, according to the Bulls boss – who is delighted to have secured the Cumbrian's services.
“Ryan is a young, up and coming talent who I know very well. He was just coming into the junior ranks when I was at Warrington, so I know what he is capable of bringing to the party.
“Ryan has bags of potential. He is very quick, knows his way to the line and can kick goals. I believe he has all the tools.
“We are starting to build some real strength in depth within the backs and, for Ryan, it is now all about hitting the ground running and making the most of his ability.”