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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Donaldson happy to miss Whitehaven clash if he can make Bradford Super League comeback

Former Recre scholarship kid James Donaldson hopes to miss a weekend clash with Whitehaven – and instead make his Super League comeback with Bradford Bulls.

James Donaldson photo
James Donaldson

The ex-Wath Brow Hornets starlet has been staying sharp with Championship outfit Dewsbury Rams, who entertain Haven on Sunday, while awaiting his first chance of 2013 with the Bulls.

And he is prepared to step up against visitors St Helens on Saturday if given the nod.

“I think I’m ready, and I’m just waiting for my chance,” said the 21-year-old, whose glittering early career, which included action for England Knights, was derailed by major injuries to both knees.

“Hopefully it will come in the next few weeks. I missed a little pre-season, making sure things were right, and it was thought best if I go to Dewsbury to get some minutes under my belt.

“I’ve played three games and it’s going pretty well over there. My friend Glenn Morrison is coach. He looked after me when I first came to Bradford, taking me under his wing, and it has been good to get back with him.”

If he does not feature against Saints he is ready to tackle Haven for a second time, after making a try-scoring debut for the Bulls at 17, in a pre-season friendly at the Recre in 2009.

“It would be pretty good to play against my hometown club, who I supported as a kid. A bit strange but nice for me, because my granda is a big Whitehaven RL supporter,” he said. “He would still be shouting for me, but for Whitehaven as well.”

Donaldson was named in Bradford’s 19-man squad for last week’s clash with Castleford Tigers at Odsal, which they won 38-12.

He missed out on the 17 and instead starred at loose-forward for the Rams in their 14-4 win at Hunslet, their second in three Championship outings.

The Rams’ only reverse came by two points at home to title favourites Featherstone, and Donaldson, from Cleator Moor, has been impressed.

“Dewsbury look pretty strong,” he said. “They have some good players, and Glenn has them well-drilled.”

Donaldson trains with the Bradford squad through the week and links up with the Rams on a Friday, and he is a fan of the new Odsal regime under Francis Cummins.

“Franny has tried to look after me. He doesn’t want to throw me in the deep end,” he continued. “Bradford are looking really fit with a new backroom staff, head coach and owners. It is more of a professional environment at the moment.”

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