sport

Lowes named new Bulls coach

​Bradford Bulls have appointed former player James Lowes as their new head coach.

Lowes, 44, is leaving his role as head coach of Leeds Carnegie rugby union team to take over at the Friends Provident Stadium.

He succeeds Francis Cummins, who was sacked just over a week ago by the relegation-threatened Super League club.

The former Great Britain hooker was in the Bulls team that were crowned Super League champions in 1997 and 2001 and did the double in 2003.

Bulls chairman Marc Green told the club's official website: \"We are absolutely delighted to have someone of James' calibre in place as our new head coach.

\"As a board of directors, we recognise his talents, what he has achieved in the game, the names he has worked under and alongside in previous roles, and also what he achieved, last season, with Leeds Carnegie.

\"Regardless of what division we play in next year, we believe James is the right man to drive this club forward and into a new era.

\"We have been working extremely hard to ensure we have the right man for the job and are confident James can achieve great things here, both in the short term and in the long term.\"

Chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul added: \"James fully understands the importance of nurturing stars of the future, he recognises the need for talent to filter through from the bottom up.

\"In the short term, James is aiming to get the very best out of the squad and will begin work with our players right away.

\"Going forward, he is committed to piecing together and developing a full performance department solution, while aiming to return this fantastic club to its former glories.\"

Leeds Carnegie chairman Sir Ian McGeechan said: "We are disappointed to be losing James Lowes but we understand his desire to return to Bradford Bulls and we wish him well.

"Our search for a new coach begins immediately. Myself and director of rugby Chris Gibson will take our time to find the right man. This may take some time and in the meantime I will oversee the coaching staff and pre-season arrangements.

"All the players return from the off season next week in preparation for a very big year as we strive to realise our Premiership ambitions."

Matt Diskin, who reluctantly took charge of the side for last Friday's 44-18 home defeat by Hull KR, welcomed the appointment of Lowes, as well as the chance to hand over the coaching reins.

"I enjoyed the week and it probably gave me a bit of a taste for coaching in the future but I'm more than happy to hand it over and quickly," he said.

"We would have supported any coach who came in but the fact that it's a young, ambitious coach who has got the club at heart is going to be very popular with the lads also."