Hunter-Paul returns to Odsal as Bradford make plans

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BRADFORD Bulls legend Robbie Hunter-Paul is making his long-awaited return to Odsal.

The former Kiwi international, the face of the club as they embraced Bullmania and charged to five successive Grand Finals between 2001-05, will today be announced as its new deputy director.

Hunter-Paul, 37, left his post as Huddersfield Giants business development manager on Thursday in readiness to take on the newly-created leadership role at Bradford which will act as a vital link between head coach Francis Cummins and chairman Omar Khan.

The news will gladden Bradford fans who have always hoped one of their favourite sons would eventually reunite with the West Yorkshire outfit.

Having joined as an unheralded teenager from New Zealand in 1994, the exciting scrum-half went on to play 241 games for Bradford, scoring an incredible 224 tries.

Hunter-Paul captained them in the 1996 Challenge Cup final, memorably becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in the competition’s Wembley showpiece and winning the Lance Todd Trophy despite going down to St Helens.

He later led them to the Treble in 2003 and collected four Grand Final winners rings, two Challenge Cup victories and a brace of World Club Championship titles before leaving following their 2005 Old Trafford success against Leeds Rhinos.

Hunter-Paul spent two seasons at Huddersfield before moving to Salford City Reds and then finishing his playing career at Leigh in 2011.

He has spent the last 18 months enhancing his business skills at the Giants but will now transfer that across to Bradford where it is hoped not only his football knowledge but sheer charisma will further aid their revival under Khan, who led them out of administration last summer.

Cummins is currently busily assessing candidates for an extra assistant to aid him and deputy Lee St Hilaire while he has confirmed there will be further backroom staff added before 2014, including a nutritionist.

Furthermore, though still not reaching the levels of the elite clubs, Cummins says he will also have more money to spend on player recruitment with another much-coveted signing from a leading club expected to be revealed early next week.