A dream XIII of stars who have played for both Bradford and Leeds

There has been plenty of exceptional talent that has gone on to don the jerseys of both Bradford and Leeds.

For many years, the rivalry has given us some of the most memorable moments and it has been one of the standout matches on the rugby league calendar over the course of the 1990s and 2000s.

1: Lee Smith

The former Great Britain international burst on to the scene back in the mid 2000s with the Rhinos and whilst there he went on to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy for his man of the match performance in the 2008 Super League Grand Final win over St Helens.

Overall, he made 156 appearances and scored 67 tries for Leeds in two separate spells with the club. Although his time at Bradford was not as successful, he still led the Bulls to promotion from League 1 to the Championship during the 2018 season.

2: Karl Pratt

Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Leeds-born winger proved to be an exceptional and handy try scorer.

After impressing with Featherstone, Pratt went on to sign with Leeds in 1999 and whilst there he earned his first caps for both England and Great Britain. In four seasons, he made 82 appearances and scored 38 tries. By 2003, he made the move over to Bradford and endured his first taste of silverware in the same season after being a part of the Bulls’ stunning treble year. Between 2003-05, he featured 61 times and scored 21 tries.

3: Chev Walker

At 16 years of age, Walker made his debut for Leeds against Halifax during the 1999 Super League season. The versatile back still went on to make 184 appearances and score 86 tries for Leeds.

Between 1999-06, he featured in two Super League Grand Finals and two Challenge Cup finals as well as appearing for both England and Great Britain. By 2011, he signed for Bradford where he saw off the rest of his career and even captained the Bulls in 2015.

4: Chris Mckenna

The former Queensland representative made a move to Super League and Leeds in 2003 after a solid six years with Cronulla in the NRL.

During his time with the Rhinos, he won the 2004 Super League title and appeared in two Challenge Cup Finals in 2003 and 2005. After three seasons with the Rhinos, he made the move to Bradford in 2006 and spent two seasons with the Bulls where they made a run to the play-offs in both 2006 and 2007.

5: Marcus Bai

After starring with Melbourne in the NRL, the powerful winger singed for Leeds in 2004 and despite only a short stint with the club, he still made a lasting impact on the Rhinos faithful.

In two years with the clubs, he went on to score 26 tries in 29 appearances during Leeds’ 2004 Super League winning season before starring again in their run to both the Super League and Challenge Cup finals in 2005. Overall, he went on to score 45 tries in only 63 games for the side before signing with Bradford in 2006. On his debut with the Bulls, he again made a quick impression and scored a brace of tries in their World Club Challenge victory over the Wests Tigers.

6: Iestyn Harris

The 1998 Man of Steel winner was an absolute star for Leeds during the late 1990s and even captained Leeds to their first Challenge Cup since 1978 in 1999 and at the age of just 21.

After a stint in rugby union, the former Wales international returned to rugby league with Bradford and featured in back-to-back Super League Grand Finals with the Bulls, winning the title in 2005.

7: Luke Gale

The Leeds-born playmaker spent three seasons with Bradford between 2012-14 and even though the Bulls’ years of dominance were well behind them, he was easily the spark in a struggling team with his great kicking ability and ball playing proving a valuable asset.

The 2017 Man of Steel winner signed for Leeds in time for the 2020 season and he was off to a flyer with three tries and 34 points in his first five appearances.

8: Jamie Peacock

The Super League legend was able to experience a great deal of success in terms of individual and team accolades with both clubs.

The former Great Britain and England enforcer started life out with Bradford where his tireless work ethic and ruthless ball running helped the Bulls win three Super League titles and two Challenge Cups over the course of the early 2000s. By the time he made the move to Leeds in 2006, his dominance in the game was only just beginning as the 2003 Man of Steel winner went on to claim another six Super League titles and two Challenge Cups over the next 10 years.

9: James Lowes

There is no question that the former Great Britain and Ireland international will go down not only as one of the great number nines of the Super League era but also one of its most outstanding performers ever.

After starting out with Hunslet in 1987, Lowes eventually moved to Leeds in 1992 where he went on to make over 100 appearances and score 20 tries. By 1996, he had his move to Bradford in time for the inaugural Super League season and from then he saw plenty of trophy laden success. Altogether, he went on to win three Super League titles and two Challenge Cups with the Bulls as well as securing the 1997 Man of Steel award.

10: Adrian Morley

In his 20-year career, Morley forged a reputation as one of the aggressive and fearsome prop forwards in the Super League and NRL.

The ruthless front-rower began his career with Leeds in 1995 where he went on to feature in their 1999 Challenge Cup triumph. After further impressing with the Sydney Roosters, Morley joined Bradford on loan in 2005 and became the first man to win a league title in both England and Australia after helping the Bulls claim their fourth Super League crown.

11: Brett Ferres

In 2005, Ferres made his professional rugby league debut with Bradford and featured nine times in the Bulls’ Super League title winning season as well as featuring in their 2006 World Club Challenge triumph.

After spending time with Wakefield, Castleford and Huddersfield, Ferres saw himself feature for England at international level much more prominently before joining Leeds in 2016. In four seasons there, he was able to secure a Super League crown when his side claimed victory over Castleford in the 2017 Super League Final.

12: Bob Haigh

The former Great Britain international spent time with Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford Northern during his career.

During his time with the Rhinos, he appeared in two Challenge Cup finals and was a huge part of the squad that won the 1971-72 RFL Championship. After moving to Bradford, he went on to become the oldest winner of the Harry Sunderland Trophy after his man of the match display in the 1977-78 Grand Final victory over Widnes.

13: Ellery Hanley

The rugby league goat began his career with Bradford Northern back in 1978, where his try scoring exploits and adaptability to play in several positions along the backline saw him turn heads throughout the league.

In his last season for the club, he went on to win the Man of Steel award after scoring more than 50 tries throughout the season and altogether brought his tally to 89 from 126 appearances. After moving to Wigan and spending time in Australia, Hanley was easily one of the best players on the planet and eventually he signed for hometown club Leeds back in 1991. Despite not experiencing more silverware whilst there, his epic finishing ability was still on show as he scored 106 tries in 114 appearances and helped steer them to consecutive Challenge Cup final appearances in 1994 and 1995.

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8 Comments

  1. Hanley at centre for McKenna. Dave Heron at 13. Graham Mackay on wing for Pratt. Jeff Grayshon at 8 and JP in second row for Ferres.
    Now that’s a team.

  2. Bob Haigh threw me thought it was just SL?
    Anyway Medley Grayshon Ford Harmon Harkin Hill Dixon Powell Clark Wayne/Dave Heron the list goes on…

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