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Bradford Bulls boss explains why Leeds Rhinos signing will replace Jordan Lilley in this role in 2023

It is a bit of a new era at the Bradford Bulls as Mark Dunning puts his stamp on the club as he looks to lead the Bulls back to Super League.

He has made some impressive signings such as Michael Lawrence from Huddersfield Giants and Bodene Thompson from the Leeds Rhinos and the two will act as the captain and vice-captain respectively.

Speaking on this to Bulls TV, Dunning explained his thought process:

“There are multiple reasons, our leadership group and in them there were a number of players who could have been captain and below that there are eight or nine senior players who could have been in that leadership group.

“We have a whole heap of leaders here. Yes we have two great players to lead us and two great people too, but it’s not all about the leadership, it’s also about the followship.”

He also explained why fellow new signing from Leeds Rhinos Jack Walker is in the leadership group alongside others:

“We have Jack in there because he’s a little young and then Jordan Lilley who is a bit older and George Flanagan Senior who is a lot older, so we have a good balance.”

One big call was appointing Bodene Thompson as Jordan Lilley’s replacement as vice-captain, and Dunning explained why this was a “really easy” decision:

“That was really easy. That was probably the easiest one. Anyone who knows Jordan Lilley knows that he’s at his best when he’s only worried about Jordan Lilley. Not when he’s care free but when he’s focused on what he can contribute to the team, what he can give to the team and tip into the whole ethos rather than getting other people to do their job.

“I just want to see the best of Jordan Lilley in 2023. Just worry about Jordan Lilley and get the best of Jordan Lilley.”

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