Bulls appoint Lowes
Bradford Bulls have appointed former player James Lowes as their new head coach.
Lowes, 44, will leave his role as head coach of Leeds Carnegie rugby union team to succeed Francis Cummins, who was sacked just over a week ago by the relegation-threatened First Utility Super League club.
The former Bradford and Great Britain hooker, who was in the Bulls team that were crowned Super League champions in 1997 and 2001 and did the double in 2003, was unveiled at a press conference at the Provident Stadium on Tuesday morning.
Bulls chairman Marc Green said: "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."
The appointment is likely to go down well with Bradford's long-suffering fans after Lowes topped a poll in a local newspaper of supporters on who they wanted as the club's next coach.
He made 205 Super League appearances for the Bulls after joining them from Leeds Rhinos in 1996 and in 2007 was named in Bradford's team of the century.
Lowes actually applied to become Bradford coach ahead of the 2011 season when Mick Potter was appointed as the successor to Steve McNamara.
He was head coach of Warrington Wolves at the time but left shortly afterwards to return to Leeds, where he worked as assistant to Brian McDermott.
Lowes was also England head coach under McNamara for the 2012 Four Nations Series but resigned 12 months ago to take up his role with the Rhinos' sister rugby union club.
Under Lowes, Carnegie reached the play-offs in successive seasons and he was under contract with them for next season.
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."
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."