Challenge Cup: Kear praises Championship standards

John Kear.
John Kear.

Bradford Bulls coach John Kear has praised the quality of rugby league’s Championship ahead of Sunday’s Coral Challenge Cup clash against Halifax at Odsal (2.45).

One second tier club is sure to progress to the semi-finals for the first time in 13 years and players from both sides will be keen to showcase their skills in front of the BBC cameras.

“I think it’s a major pat on the back for the competition,” said Kear. “The Championship is a great competition where you really have to turn up week in, week out.

“I’ve always felt there’s been some really good players in the Championship and I think Super League clubs have been a little remiss not to recruit from the Championship.”

Kear said Alex Walmsley and Chris Hill were examples of players who had graduated from the Conference to make a mark in Super League.

Bulls, meanwhile, have completed the permanent signing of half-back Jordan Lilley from Leeds until at least the end of 2021.

Lilley looks sure to be a major threat to Simon Grix’s visitors at the weekend after kicking the winning drop goal against Featherstone and then being man of the match as Bulls upset Leeds in the last round.