TWO former Bradford Bulls players will be aiming to oust their old club from the Challenge Cup tomorrow.
Featherstone Rovers centres Jason Walton and Chris Ulugia both spent time at Bradford, but insist there will be no divided loyalties in what promises to be the top tie of the fourth round.
Walton joined Bradford from Wakefield Trinity at the end of last season and began training with them before the club ceased trading in January.
He became a free agent, was snapped up by Rovers and has been a key figure in an impressive start to the Championship campaign which has produced five wins from six matches.
“The lads are really looking forward to it,” Walton – who scored two tries in last week’s big win over Sheffield Eagles – said of tomorrow’s tie.
“It is going to be a game that generates a lot of interest and we intend to come out on top.
“As long as we perform and work hard, we will get what we deserve. We have got a great squad and are continuing to improve as the weeks go by.
“We got back on the horse on Sunday with a good win and the next step for us is progressing in the Challenge Cup.
“We won’t settle for anything less.”
Ulugia began his English career with Bradford before moving to Batley Bulldogs.
He has scored four tries in six games for Featherstone this year and insisted: “Our goal this season is to finish high up in Championship’s top-four, but a good cup run is also really important to us and we are starting with a difficult test.
“This competition means a great deal to Featherstone and I am proud to be representing this club.
“We have started the season well, but kicking on beating Bradford is essential for our own confidence.
“We will go there looking to get the job done – and done well.”
Bradford have a rich history of Challenge Cup success and last won the coveted trophy back in 2003.
Acting head coach Leigh Beattie said: “The Challenge Cup is massive for the club, everyone involved loves the competition and that opportunity to get Wembley.
“It’s always good to go into a game on the back of a win and after last weekend’s game against Batley our confidence is pretty high. That being said, it’ll be a tough game for us against Featherstone.
“A lot of our loan players are obviously cup tied so we’ll be without them for the game. It does give us an opportunity to test the depth of our squad though as a number of our under 19s will probably play.”