Crossley eyes return to Super League at Bradford

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STEVE CROSSLEY’S second stab at Super League didn’t work out but he fully intends making it third time lucky after re-joining Bradford Bulls from Castleford.

The prop, 24, has signed with the Championship club until the end of 2016 and hopes to fire them to promotion after cutting short his stay at Wheldon Road.

Crossley, who originally came through home city Bradford’s Academy ranks to make his Super League debut in 2010, left part-timers Featherstone Rovers for another crack in the top flight with Castleford last autumn.

However, he has only played in five of their 11 games so far this term – the last being Sunday’s woeful 46-16 defeat at Widnes – and struggled to make an impact.

The arrival of former Leeds Rhinos prop Ryan Bailey this week has only further increased competition there.

Crossley, though, is an excellent Championship forward having proved so with Dewsbury Rams in 2012 after leaving Bradford and then at Featherstone.

“When I heard Bulls were interested, as part of an initial loan deal, I jumped at the chance,” he said, having made 10 Super League appearances in his first spell at Odsal.

“The option then came for Bradford to take me on a permanent basis and I didn’t take too long to think about it; this is where I grew up and the club I supported as a boy, I feel as though I am coming home.

“Believe me, it is going to show in my performances. Bradford is too big a club to be playing outside of the sport’s top flight, the level which I believe we, together, can get back to for 2016.”

Bradford head coach James Lowes has named him in his 19-man squad for tomorrow’s game at Doncaster along with Jake Mullaney and Vila Halafihi. Chris Ulugia (hand) and Epalahame Lauaki (groin) are ruled out, with Danny Williams also missing.

“Things weren’t happening for him at Cas but he is a strong ball-carrier and certainly adds some great competition to our front-row,” said Lowes.

Tigers coach Daryl Powell, who worked with the player at Featherstone too, said: “Steve Crossley has found it tough to consistently pin down a place in our first team during the first half of the season and obviously wants to play more rugby. We wish him well.”