The two sides will meet at Headingley Carnegie on Sunday 24th January, having previously played each other in 2015 for Jamie Peacock‘s testimonial in a game that attracted a crowd of over 10,000.
Now the treble winners will take on James Lowes’ side in similar fashion for Carl Ablett, who is the recipient of the year long testimonial having giving over a decade’s service to his home town club.
Ablett, the only Rhinos’ player to appear in every game of Leeds’ historic treble winning season in 2015, is already looking forward to the clash in the new year.
“I would like to thank Marc Green, Robbie Hunter-Paul, James Lowes and the Bulls players for agreeing to come over to Headingley Carnegie for my testimonial,” he said.
“As a Leeds fan growing up, the game against the Bulls was always the highlight of the year, it is unfortunate that the derby has left Super League for now but this will be a great chance to renew old rivalries and friendships.”
The game with the Bulls, according to Ablett, gives the crowd a great opportunity to get a look at their new look squad ahead of their title defence in 2016.
“We have got a number of new faces in our squad and this will be a great chance for fans to see them in action before the start of the new season which starts just 11 days later”
Bradford Bulls CEO Robbie Hunter Paul has spoke of his delight that the two sides get to lock horns against each other once more, despite competing in different leagues.
“All Bulls supporters understand the emotion between Bradford and Leeds,” he said.
“For over a decade in the Super League, the matchup between the sport’s two giants was a spectacle to watch and one of the most eagerly anticpated games in the Super League calendar. I love that over the last two years we still have the enjoyment of travelling to Headingley despite being in the Championship.”
Ex-Bulls star Hunter-Paul was also quick to pay tribute to Carl Ablett, in what he believes is a fantastic achievement for someone nowadays.
“Anytime a player shows the dedication to stick with a club for over ten years, it shows a level of loyalty that is sadly now rarely seen in professional sports,” he said.
“I had the pleasure of playing against Carl when he was a youngster and his talent was evident at an early age. He has been a stalwart for the Rhinos and I wish him all the best for his testimonial journey.”