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Robbie Paul leaves Bradford to join
The 29 year old has made the move across West Yorkshire to the Galpharm Stadium and has joined Huddersfeild on a two year contract.
Giants Head Coach John Sharp commented:
'The signing of Robbie Paul gives another indication of the ambition of this club.
'Robbie's arrival at the Galpharm will give a massive boost to everyone at the Giants. He is a quality operator both on and off the field and I am really looking forward to working with him.
'The signing of Robbie completes our recruitment for the 2006 season and gives the Giants probably the strongest squad we have ever had in Super League.'
Giants New Signing Robbie Paul commented:
'This club has the potential to go all the way in Super League. Huddersfield Gia! nts are a club that's not in its infancy, but on the edge of going to greatness. Everyone has watched Huddersfield grow stronger and stronger in the last five years, and I'm delighted I will be a part of its future development. If I felt this was a club that was standing still, I wouldn't have come, but after speaking to Jon Sharp I was made well aware of his drive, enthusiasm and his desire to take this club to the very top, and with Jon in charge I know that will be achieved. These are exciting times for Huddersfield Giants.'
Giants General Manager Richard Thewlis commented:
'Robbie Paul was a key target in our recruitment policy for 2006. Jon Sharp approached Brian Noble for permission to approach the player and I did likewise with the Bulls CEO Gareth Davies. Both gave us the green light and we proceeded accordingly. Agreement in principle was reached some time ago and Robbie shook hands on the deal prior to the season's finale on the understanding t! hat he would complete his commitments to the Bulls before officially signing up and making today announcement. To say that our club is delighted about the move would be an understatement.
'This is clearly a momentous day in the history of the Huddersfield Giants. Two years ago it would have been unthinkable that Robbie Paul would even consider a move to the Giants. However such has been our progress in recent times under Jon Sharp and Ken Davy that we are now seen by the top players as an extremely attractive proposition and a club that has ambition to succeed at the very top. The signing of Robbie Paul sends a clear message to all supporters of Rugby League which is simply that Huddersfield is now firmly back competing at the very top of the Rugby League world. Robbie will be a massive asset to us both on and off the field and I expect news of his signing to have a massive effect on our season ticket sales and sponsorship portfolio.
'In Robbie Paul we have the game's most instantly recognisable international star and we are proud and honoured that he has chosen Huddersfield as the next club in his immensely succesful career.' The newly-crowned 2005 Super League Champions Bradford Bulls, today confirmed that Robbie Paul is leaving the Club.
Bulls' Chairman, Chris Caisley said:
"I am personally saddened that Robbie is leaving, but salary cap considerations have come into play and forced our hand. I first met Robbie face to face at Manchester Airport after he had just got off the plane from New Zealand in 1994. He and his brother Henry landed in the UK together, and whilst Henry's stock was already fairly high and was due to rise even further, firstly at Wigan and later with the Bulls, I guess neither Robbie nor I knew for sure how things would go. I knew from doing my homework that he was a very talented rugby player, but I had no idea that he would turn into a true sporting superstar and such a superb ambassador for the Bulls, the sport of Rugby League and, indeed, the city of Bradford over the next decade."
"There is such a lot to be said about what Robbie has achieved on and off the field, the massive part he played in what became known as the "Bulls phenomenon" from 1996 for several years thereafter and the debt of gratitude which the Club and the city of Bradford owes him. He has always been there when needed and he has given so much of his time and a great deal of enjoyment to people within and outside of the Club over the last 11 years or so. Robbie magnanimously said at the post-Grand Final celebrations that he "came to Bradford for the rugby and stayed for the people." Well, the people are certainly glad that he did. On behalf of everyone associated with Bradford Bulls I thank him for what he has done and wish him well for the future."
Robbie Paul played 305 games for the Bulls scoring 156 Tries and 3 Goals - a 100% success rate! He helped the Bulls to Championship successes in 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2005, Challenge Cup wins in 2000 and 2003 and 2 World Championships in 2002 and 2004. During his tenure at the Bulls the Club also appeared in 3 other Grand Finals and 3 Challenge Cup Finals and won Minor Premierships in 1999, 2001 and 2003.
Robbie Paul said:
"The important thing for me at this time is to say thank you to the fans and everybody involved with the club. Coming to England as an 18 year old and growing, not only as a Rugby player but also as a person, I could not have asked to have a more supportive family than the Bradford Bulls and its fans. I will look back at my time at Odsal with unequalled joy and passion but now my energies will be focused towards my future with the Huddersfield Giants.?
Caisley concluded by saying,
"There will be a Testimonial Game for Robbie early next year when Bulls fans and the people of Bradford will be able to personally show Robbie how much we all appreciate what he has achieved during his time with us. I hope all Bulls supporters over the past 10 years will support Robbie and ensure that he gets a really good turnout. As for the future, when Robbie finishes playing I would like to think that he will come back to the Club in some capacity."
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