Cummins aims to topple Smith

  • Last Updated: April 27 2013, 13:10 BST

Bradford's rookie coach Francis Cummins will be aiming to get one over on his old boss Tony Smith when the Bulls take on Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Sunday.

Francis Cummins: Plentry learned from Tony Smith
Francis Cummins: Plentry learned from Tony Smith

Cummins admits he "stole" ideas from the former Great Britain and England boss after playing for him and then cutting his coaching teeth under him at Leeds.

"Tony Smith has been a big influence on my career," Cummins said.

"As a player, he put the finishing touches to me and to Leeds and took them up a level but also when I retired and got the opportunity to coach with him and Brian McDermott.

"It was a great apprenticeship, not only in rugby league but also in how to manage people, things like how you influence people and make them better and how to invest in you.

"I am indebted to the time I spent there under Tony. I steal things from everyone and I know I am still using things I got from him and other coaches."

Cummins has enjoyed much success in his first season as a head coach, putting Bradford on course for a first play-off appearances for four years, but his side have yet to defeat one of the 'big four'.

"I am just looking forward to coming up against another of the perceived top sides," he said.

"We know we need to bring our best game out because we didn't against Wigan and we didn't against Saints.

"We have to be at our best. We know they have not got Lee Briers but they have some great halves in (Stefan) Ratchford and (Richie) Myler and some really good players in every position.

"They have great strength in depth and have quality right across it."

Smith brings back his big guns while prop Ben Evans, who is on a season-long loan at Bradford, is set to make his Super League debut against his parent club as a replacement for Jamie Langley, who has a hamstring strain.

Hull KR will give a debut to loan signing Luke George against champions Leeds at MS3 Craven Park.

George, who has joined Rovers from Huddersfield, goes straight into the side in place of centre Kris Welham, who has a shoulder injury, while hooker Lincoln Withers could make his comeback after missing the last 11 matches with a cut head and a broken toe.

Rovers coach Craig Sandercock is glad to have the former Crusaders hooker back in contention.

"Lincoln may be a possibility for the Leeds game," he said. "He would certainly add leadership and talk to the team.

"It's always good to have a senior player like him back, and while I'm not saying he is going to play, he will be available."

Hull KR dropped out of the top eight following their defeat at Huddersfield a fortnight ago but back-to-back wins over Saints, in both Super League and the Challenge Cup, have put the champions on alert.

"It would be a mistake for us to expect nothing less than Hull KR's best come Sunday afternoon and history shows that teams always save their best to face us," said Leeds coach Brian McDermott.

"That was obviously a big game for them last weekend and it was a tremendous achievement to become the first team in the Super League era to knock Saints out of the Cup at the fourth-round stage.

"Whilst I am sure that will have taken a lot of emotional and physical energy out of them, there is enough in a game against Leeds at home to make sure that they will be up for this one."

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