Super League: Bradford Bulls v Castleford Tigers preview
Bradford are boosted by the availability of Brett Kearney for Sunday's clash with Castleford at the Provident Stadium.
Last Updated: 15/02/14 2:53pm
The Bulls and the Tigers both missed the play-offs last season, with the former then enduring more financial problems during this winter before being purchased by 'Bradford Bulls 2014 Ltd'.
Their off-field issues have led to one player departing - Garreth Carvell did not even make a competitive appearance for the club before his switch to Hull FC.
The prop's exit, coming in the week before they open their campaign, is a blow for coach Francis Cummins, particularly as another new recruit, Dale Ferguson, is ruled out with a back injury.
Jarrod Sammut and Matty Blythe, who has now joined the Bulls on a permanent basis after being on loan last year, are also ruled out for the hosts.
However there is good news over Brett Kearney, the full-back having overcome a shoulder injury to be included in Cummins' 19-man squad.
There is also a place for loan recruit Danny Bridge, while close-season signings Adam Henry, Luke George and Lee Gaskell are all set to make their debuts.
Castleford, meanwhile, will be hoping for a repeat of the pre-season clash between the pair. On that occasion they ran out 66-10 winners, with Kirk Dixon - who this week signed a new contract - scoring 30 of their points.
Coach Daryl Powell could include as many as seven of his signings, with Luke Dorn and Andy Lynch both set to start their second spells with the Tigers.
They do have some absentees, though, including props Ryan Boyle and Nathan Massey.
"Whilst we have got a bigger squad to be able to deal with injuries this season, up front we are missing two of our front line props in Boyle and Massey," Powell told the club's official website.
Jake Webster, Lee Gilmour and James Clare are also sidelined for Castleford, who lost 38-12 on their trip to Bradford during the previous season.
Bradford: Donaldson, Henry, Walker, Purtell, Gale, Kear, Gaskell, Sidlow, Bridge, Scruton, George, Roberts, Olbison, Manuokafoa, Addy, Foster, Diskin, Kearney, O'Brien
Castleford: Tansey, Dixon, Shenton, Carney, Dorn, Sneyd, Lynch, Milner, Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Clark, Holmes, Mariano, Wheeldon, Owen, Channing, Fleming, Finn.