first_imgReuse this content Share on Pinterest Topics Since you’re here… Shares00 Andy Wilson Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook The new-look Bradford Bulls team who open their home Super League season against Huddersfield tonight will contain one ominously familiar face for the visiting team. Chris Nero was voted player of the year by his Giants team-mates shortly before his move to Odsal was announced last autumn, and the arrival of the unsung Australian second-row or centre is one of the main reasons why Bradford are fancied by many to launch a more sustained challenge for honours this season.”It was a big surprise to me that Huddersfield let Chris go,” said Robbie Paul, the former Bradford favourite who spent the last two years with Nero at the Giants before moving on to Salford. “He was one of our outstanding performers last year, a quality person as well as player, and he’ll be a massive plus for Bradford.”Of the four high-profile departures from the Giants squad who secured a first appearance in the top-six play-offs last season, Nero is thought to be the player their coach, Jon Sharp, was most reluctant to lose. Similarly, he was one of the major targets for Bradford’s coach, Steve McNamara, last summer, even in a recruitment drive that has also brought Ben Jeffries, Semi Tadulala, Paul Sykes, Wayne Godwin and Simon Finnigan to Odsal.”I think athleticism was an area we were light in last year,” McNamara explained. “We have brought a couple of players in who are quick, athletic and agile. Chris is certainly one of those.”In many ways Nero is the sort of overseas player the authorities are trying to drum out of the British game. He was a virtual unknown when he left the St George Illawarra Dragons for Huddersfield as a 22-year-old in 2002, relying on an Italian passport to secure a work permit, and for all the respect that his unflashy virtues command from his team-mates, he is not the type to put bums on seats. But for every headline-grabbing import who has contributed to Bradford’s success in the Super League era, such as the Paul brothers and Lesley Vainikolo, there has been at least one such grafter.A debut defeat at Wakefield last Sunday was not part of the plan for Nero and with Huddersfield soundly beaten by Leeds at the Galpharm Stadium the pressure will be on both teams tonight.”It was obviously a bad start for both of us,” Nero said. “We only had ourselves to blame at Wakefield and from what I can gather it was pretty similar for the Giants. But I know the Giants will be a force again this year because of the signings they’ve made and the players that were already there. I don’t think it will be too long before we’re both winning and challenging for a place in the six.”The mood should be much more upbeat in Perpignan where two of the opening round’s most impressive victors, Catalans Dragons and Hull Kingston Rovers, meet. That leaves only one Sunday Super League fixture, at the KC Stadium, where Hull hope to have Gareth Raynor back from a hamstring injury but will still be missing seven senior players against Harlequins. Share on Facebook Rugby league Share on LinkedIn Fri 15 Feb 2008 19.17 EST Share via Email First published on Fri 15 Feb 2008 19.17 EST Huddersfield Giants Nero relishing visit of old friends as Bulls look for their first win Share on Messenger Share via Email Rugby league Share on Twitter Share on Twitter Bradford Bulls Share on WhatsApplast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *