Bradford draft in Quins’ Gale to fill the boots of departed Orford

Bradford Bulls hope to have finally found the answer to their Matt Orford conundrum after signing Harlequins half-back Luke Gale on a two-year deal.

The Super League club have struggled for an on-field organiser ever since the Australian star injured his shoulder last May just 12 games into his big-money move from Manly.

Troubled Orford swiftly returned to the NRL following the ill-fated spell and Bradford have limped on rudderless with a succession of half-backs who have generally failed to take command.

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Kyle Briggs was signed from Featherstone Rovers but has not adapted to the demands of Super League while Australian Marc Herbert has only shown glimpses of form following his move from Canberra Raiders.

However, with Bradford unlikely to reach the play-offs for a third successive season, coach Mick Potter believes the sprightly Gale, 23, is a step in the right direction when he arrives for next season.

“Luke is a player we have had our eye on for some time,” said Potter.

“I’m delighted he has chosen to join us.

“He can run the team around the park, has a great kicking game and will be a great addition to our squad for the next two years.”

Gale started out in Leeds Rhinos’ Academy before moving to Doncaster where he won the 2008 National League Two Young Player of the Year and became the club’s record points scorer in a season.

Such form alerted Harlequins who he joined the following season but it is this year, despite featuring in a largely struggling side, where he has really come of age earning a place in the England Knights squad.

Gale’s pace and willingness to take on the line will prove a welcome addition to Bradford’s attacking options where he is likely to link-up with Ben Jeffries, who recently returned to Odsal from Wakefield Trinity.

“Bradford Bulls are a massive club and I’m really looking forward to joining them,” he said.

“I had three years at Harlequins and thought it was the right time to move. I’m looking forward to the chance of playing in front of so many fans. That’s what rugby is all about and if you can’t play in front of 10,000 people then you shouldn’t be in the game.

“Hopefully, I can help them fight for that top-eight slot. I don’t know Mick Potter that well but the players I’ve spoken to have said a lot of good things and I’m sure he will help me to improve my game.”