Geoff Toovey: Australian named coach of new Bradford Bulls

Geoff Toovey
Geoff Toovey won 18 caps for Australia

Former Manly Sea Eagles coach Geoff Toovey has been appointed as the new coach of the reformed Bradford Bulls.

The 47-year-old Australian spent three years as coach of the NRL side before leaving in 2015.

He replaces compatriot Rohan Smith, who left the club on Tuesday by mutual consent.

The old Bradford Bulls were liquidated at the start of the month and the new club will start the Championship season with a 12-point deduction.

Joint-owner Graham Lowe said: "He won't be bringing loads of people from Australia. He wants to work with people here and the community.

"I am so pleased we have reached terms with him. He is a football man and is a players' coach.

"He will make young players thrive. He is uncompromising and has always had the leadership skills required."

The new team, captained by Leon Pryce, will play their first game in a friendly against Huddersfield Giants on Sunday.

And despite a number of departures, they have 26 players signed up for the forthcoming season.

They start their league campaign against Hull KR on Sunday, 5 February.

Analysis

BBC rugby league correspondent Dave Woods

Toovey won 18 Australia caps, a tally artificially boosted by the fact he played for the ARL-loyal Manly at the time of the Super League war, but he was a class act.

As a player and coach he's been a one club man so far. His appointment appears to be out of the blue as he has no working knowledge of the English game, especially at Championship level.

But the link is Bulls' new co-owner Graham Lowe, another former Manly coach and legend.

And he could prove to be just the man for the job after all the financial chaos that the previous Bradford club went through... he's a qualified chartered accountant.

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