Lowes free to speak with Bulls
Former Bradford favourite James Lowes has been given permission by his rugby union club to speak to the Bulls about their coaching vacancy.
Lowes, who was at the heart of Bradford's success in the early days of Super League, threw his hat into the ring following the relegation-threatened club's decision to sack head coach Francis Cummins and his assistant Lee St Hilaire in the aftermath of Sunday's 46-18 defeat at Salford Red Devils.
Leeds Carnegie's director of rugby Chris Gibson responded to the speculation by insisting Lowes remained under contract as their head coach and integral to the club's bid to reclaim a place in the Premiership following their close shave this season.
However, on Wednesday morning, Leeds chairman Sir Ian McGeechan intervened to reveal the club have softened their stance following an approach by Lowes.
McGeechan said: "Following our statement yesterday regarding the speculation linking James Lowes to the vacant head coach's position at Bradford Bulls, we can confirm that James has since asked the club for permission to speak with Bradford and we, therefore, have reluctantly agreed to his request."
Lowes, 44, spent the first eight seasons of Super League at Bradford after joining them from Leeds Rhinos, scoring 84 tries in 205 appearances, and was in the side that did the league and cup double in 2003 before hanging up his boots.
He held the post of head coach of Warrington Wolves from 2008-09 and was an unsuccessful applicant for the Bradford job when Australian Mick Potter was appointed as the successor to Steve McNamara ahead of the 2011 season.
Lowes quit his role as assistant with Leeds and England two years ago to take over the reins of Carnegie but still has an unofficial role with the Rhinos.
Former Bradford boss Brian Noble, out of work since parting company with Salford in April, has also been linked with the Bulls vacancy, along with another veteran John Kear, who famously kept Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Super League in 2006, and Dewsbury coach Glenn Morrison.
Bradford captain Matt Diskin has reluctantly taken over as player-coach ahead of Friday's home game against Hull KR, working under managing director Steve Ferres as the club search for Cummins' long-term successor.