Rugby League: Edwards eager to be Bulls' ringmaster

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The Independent Online
SHAUN EDWARDS wants to take on more responsibility for organising the Bradford Bulls on the field following the disappointment of their Challenge Cup defeat at Castleford.

Bradford now have more than a month without a match before the start of Super League. Edwards, the most honoured player in the history of the game, intends to use that time to move into a more central role with the Bulls.

"We were all over the place at Castleford," he said. "I want to take on more responsibility for calling the shots."

Bradford's main winter signing has had time to reflect on his part in his new side's downfall at Wheldon Road, when Cas scored two tries while he was in the sin-bin.

"I blamed myself at the time, but I've watched the incident on video and I now think the only reason I was sin-binned was that I was Shaun Edwards. It's up to me to realise that and be more disciplined in the future."

The Bulls launched their season with characteristic panache yesterday, with their coach, Matthew Elliott, promising that they would make up for their Cup letdown.

"We won't be going to the Twin Towers and that certainly stings," he said. "But I've told the players that if we win all our Super League games we will win the Grand Final and that is our expectation.

"Some people think we are old news, but we will be grabbing your attention again."

Simon Middleton, who has been playing rugby union for Leeds, has asked Castleford for a release from his contract so that he can play for Leeds in the summer.

Super League's sponsor and Wigan's financial backer, Dave Whelan, has criticised plans to take a Test against New Zealand to Watford later this year.

Whelan, whose proposal for taking full control of the club goes before its shareholders tomorrow, hopes to establish the new ground that will be shared by Wigan's football and rugby teams as a Test venue.

Geoff Berry, who has been doing the job on a temporary basis since the end of last season, has been confirmed as the League's controller of referees.