- 4 updates
Leeds Carnegie coach James Lowes has moved a step closer to becoming the new Bradford Bulls coach, after he was granted permission to speak to the Super League club about the position.
On Tuesday Leeds Carnegie issued a statement to confirm Lowes was in contract and it was the club's desire for him to stay on in this role but following subsequent discussions with him, the club have agreed to allow their head coach to speak with the Bulls.
Leeds Carnegie's Chairman Sir Ian McGeechan said:
"Following our statement yesterday regarding the speculation linking James Lowes to the vacant Head Coaches position at Bradford Bulls we can confirm that James has since asked the club for permission to speak with Bradford and we therefore have reluctantly agreed to his request."
Bradford captain Matt Diskin has condemned the Bulls for sacking head coach Francis Cummins and his assistant Lee St Hilaire.
The 32-year-old hooker, who has reluctantly agreed to take over as caretaker player-coach until the club make a permanent appointment, took to Twitter to make clear his unhappiness over their decision to axe the coaches in the aftermath of Sunday's 46-18 defeat at Salford.
In a statement issued by the club, Diskin said he would ensure the players would be properly prepared to face Hull KR in their next Super League match at Odsal on Friday night while insisting that he had no desire to keep the job long term.
Diskin then tweeted: "Following the club's press release, on my behalf I would like to add the following: We have to respect the board's decision regarding the dismissal of Francis and Lee.
"Saying that, we don't have to agree with it and personally I think it is the wrong decision in regards to the club's long-term future.
"The facts are that we are in a results-based industry and, as a group of players, we have not transferred the skills, game plans and attitude that is of a high standard on the training field into our competitive games.
"This is something the some of most successful coaches in the world would struggle to remedy.
"The players are ultimately at fault and should shoulder the blame for the club's league position.
"My role as coach until a new one arrives is a responsibility I have reluctantly accepted and have the encouragement of both Francis and Lee for which I'm greatly appreciative."
Former Bradford Bulls & Great Britian hooker James Lowes has thrown his hat into the ring for the coaching vacancy at Odsal.
The relegation-threatened Bulls have begun the search for a successor to Francis Cummins after he and assistant coach Lee St Hilaire were sacked on Monday.
Club captain Matt Diskin has been handed the reins on a temporary basis ahead of Friday's home game against Hull KR but is not expected to be a contender for the job.
Former Bulls coach Brian Noble, out of work since being sacked by Salford in April, has been linked with the vacancy and Lowes, who is on a rolling contract as head coach of rugby union side Leeds Carnegie, admits he is interested in the job.
"I'd like to at least sit down and talk with (owner) Marc Green to hear his plans," Lowes told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus. "That would be the first step and it would be nice to meet with the bloke."
Lowes, 44, who was briefly head coach of Warrington in 2008-09, applied for the Bradford job when Australian Mick Potter was appointed as the successor to Steve McNamara ahead of the 2011 season.
"I didn't even get a reply to my application, which was very disappointing and left a sour taste," he said. "But it's obviously a job I'd love to do whether it's now or in the future. It's Bradford Bulls - it's my club."
Lowes was at the heart of Bradford's success at the start of Super League when they were crowned champions four times in nine years and twice won the Challenge Cup.
John Kear, who famously kept Wakefield in Super League in 2006 and is currently coaching Batley on a part-time basis, and former Bradford player and current Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison are also possible candidates.
Bradford say they will take their time to appoint a successor to Cummins, who paid the price for the clubs' failure to pull away from the relegation zone in the First Utility Super League.
The Bulls are in a seemingly hopeless position, eight points adrift of Wakefield with 11 fixtures left of the regular season after failing in their bid to have their points deduction for going into administration overturned on appeal.
"We don't want to make any mistakes," Bradford chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul said. "If we go in all guns blazing, then we can come unstuck. It's important we get the right person.
"We don't want to play the coaching merry-go-round. We know we haven't got a lot of time but we're not going to rush into it.
"Mathematically we're not out of it yet. Our main objective is to try and do as well as possible and to put as much pressure on those teams sitting above us."