Bradford Bulls have announced the permanent signing of experienced forward Jason Baitieri on a deal until the end of the 2023 season – subject to international clearance. The 33-year-old made his professional debut in 2010 for NRL Giants Sydney Roosters, having grown up in the New South Wales province playing for Newtown Jets.
The France international then joined Super League side Catalans Dragons – where he spent eleven years and made over 250 appearances, featuring in their 2018 Challenge Cup triumph as well as being a prominent figure in their 2021 League Leaders’ success.
Baitieri has since been playing for French Elite One outfit FC Lézignan XIII and has spoken of his excitement at joining the Bulls.
According to reports, this may not be the past signing the Bulls make from France with Bradford also expected to sign former Leeds Rhinos star James Segeyaro.
“I am really looking forward to coming over to the Bulls, I regret never coming over to England when I had the opportunity and I’m very lucky to get a chance to come to such a club that’s got a huge rugby league history in England,” said Baitieri, who is available for sponsorship.
“When Nigel got in contact with me and then Brian, I could tell that the Bulls were very ambitious and that the club have high aspirations in getting promoted back into Super League. After having a look at the bunch of players down there and how they have been travelling so far this season that made the decision easier.
“I am coming with a mindset to go and work hard for the team, wherever Mark thinks is right and play the best footy and adapt to the team as best possible.
“As we get older, we look at things differently and Bradford has huge potential to get back to where it once was and getting a chance to help and be part of that environment and atmosphere is going to be an awesome challenge.
“To the fans I just want to say looking forward in meeting a heap of you and getting as many good performances as possible. Olivier Elima and Jamal Fakir, both old Bradford bulls and French internationals, said they would shout everyone a beer when they come to Odsal in summer to watch the boys!”
Bradford boss Mark Dunning has spoken of his delight at securing Baitieri – insisting his experience will prove beneficial to his side for the remainder of 2023.
“I am really, really happy we have managed to get Jason on board, he has played a lot of games, over 300 in the NRL, Super League and on the International stage so we are really looking forward to having him join us,” said Dunning, who is sponsored by Natalie Lane on behalf of Homeless Not Hopeless.
“We look far and wide when recruiting, credit to the board who have been able to make the contact with Jason and get the deal done.”
The deal is subject to international clearance which we expect to receive in the coming weeks, and anticipate Jason will be here and available for selection from June.