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Super League: Bradford Bulls v Hull KR preview
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Bradford’s on-loan forward Jay Pitts is raring go when Hull KR visit the relegation-threatened Bulls on Friday.
The 24-year-old missed the Bulls' 46-18 defeat to Salford last weekend through suspension, a result that signalled the end of Francis Cummins' time in charge at the club.
Pitts, who switched to the Provident Stadium in April from Hull FC, is now looking to put in a top display against his parent club’s arch-rivals in a game that is live on Sky Sports.
He told the club’s official website: “Missing last week was massively frustrating but I am raring to go and make amends.
“You never like to miss any game but to miss a game as important as the last one made it even harder. It really irritated me.
“The most difficult thing to do in sport is watch without being able to contribute. I am just so glad to be back in the frame."
Pitts has appeared in numerous Hull derbies and is focused on trying to help the Bulls close an eight-point gap on 12th-placed Wakefield.
He added: “Hull derbies are very intense, the atmosphere around the city is always fantastic in the build-up and everyone is eager to make an impression.
“Hull KR are a very good side, but so are we. We will have to right a lot of wrongs, though, if we want to get a result tomorrow.
“At this stage of the season it is about focusing on our own game and putting a performance in. We have the players and we have the skills. We just have to put things right and get our game together.
Pitts is one of three changes to the squad named by Bradford player-coach Matt Diskin, who has taken temporary charge following Cummins' sacking at the start of the week.
Australian Brett Kearney returns from injury, while Alex Mellor has also come back into contention, with Adam Henry, Joe Arundel and Jamie Foster the men to make way from the 19-man squad.
Rovers have also made three changes for the trip to Bradford, one of which was enforced after Jamie Langley suffered a knee injury in the 34-4 defeat to Warrington that has put an early end to his season.
Meanwhile, prop Jonny Walker and utility back Wayne Ulugia have both been left out by head coach Craig Sandercock.
Kris Welham is recalled after appearing for York City Knight on dual registration last week, while Rhys Lovegrove returns from injury. Sonny Esslemont has a chance to make his Super League debut after being named in the party.
Bradford Bulls: Addy, Baldwinson, Blythe, Diskin, Donaldson, Fakir, Gale, Gaskell, George, Kear, Kearney, O'Brien, Olbison, Manuokafoa, Mellor, Pitts, Purtell, Sidlow, Walker.
Hull KR: Burrns, Carlile, Costigan, Eden, Esslemont, Gardner, Green, Hall, D Hodgson, J Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Lovegrove, Netherton, Ollett, Salter, Walker, Welham, Weyman.
Watch Bradford take on Hull KR live on Sky Sports 1HD at 8pm on Friday.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||21||18|
|10||Salford Red Devils||22||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||21||2|
|Saturday 26th July|
|15:00||London Broncos vs Hull K R|
|Sunday 27th July|
|15:00||Bradford vs Wigan|
|15:00||Warrington vs Wakefield|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Catalan Dragons|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|20:00||Catalan Dragons vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Bradford|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|15:00||Widnes vs Hull K R|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Huddersfield|
|Friday 25th July|
|Salford 18 - 22 Leeds|
|St Helens 44 - 22 Widnes|
|Thursday 24th July|
|Hull 18 - 18 Castleford|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
|London Broncos 16 - 58 St Helens|
|Friday 18th July|
|Wigan 56 - 10 Hull|
|Widnes 28 - 14 Warrington|
|Thursday 17th July|
|Leeds 24 - 24 Castleford|
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