Lowes is new Bulls boss
9:41am Tuesday 24th June 2014 in © Press Association 2014
James Lowes has been given the task of reviving the fortunes of his old club after being appointed as Bradford's new head coach.
The 44-year-old former Bradford and Great Britain hooker has left his role as head coach of Leeds Carnegie rugby union team to succeed Francis Cummins, who was sacked just over a week ago by the relegation-threatened Super League club.
The former Warrington head coach, who ended a successful eight-year stay at Odsal on a high by helping them complete the league and cup double in 2003, spoke of his delight at returning to the 13-man code after being unveiled at a press conference at the Provident Stadium.
"I'm a rugby league man," said Lowes. "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with Leeds Carnegie but, when this opportunity arose, there is no way I couldn't go for it.
"With my history at this club, I just felt it would be wrong not to apply
"I always aspired to come back, I didn't reckon it would happen this quickly."
Lowes, who was named man of the match in Bradford's 2002 World Club Challenge triumph over Newcastle Knights and scored 84 tries in 205 appearances for the club, has been given a two-and-a-half year contract that runs to the end of 2016.
At least one of those years is expected to be in the Championship, with Bradford almost certain to be one of two clubs relegated this year.
They are currently nine points from safety with just 10 games left of the regular season, although chairman Marc Green revealed at the press conference that the club are still considering going to the High Court to try to win back the six points the club were docked for going into administration.
The Bulls lost their appeal against the Rugby Football League's board of directors' decision but Green said the club have received positive legal advice and will decide in the next 24 hours whether to continue their fight.
"We've had conversations with barristers and we are 100 per cent convinced High Court action will result in success," Green said. "If we believe getting the points back will benefit the club, then we'll do it.
"There is a great expense to doing it. It's not a five hundred quid fee to go into court. It's going to cost many tens of thousands of pounds and, if we don't believe getting the points back would materially benefit the club, then the money is better off spent elsewhere.
"That decision will be made in the next 24 hours, by close of play tomorrow, once we've had chance to sit down and digest the barrister's comments and Jimmy's had a chance to meet the players."
Lowes, who will hold his first training session on Wednesday ahead of his first game at Warrington on Sunday, said: "I'll leave that to them.
"I can't concern myself too much with the off-field stuff. Whatever happens there happens, we've got to get things right on the field.
"It we get them back, it's a big bonus. But if we get them and we're still not playing well, then it's irrelevant.
"All we can do is fight and fight and fight. Even if it comes to the point when relegation does happen, you've got to keep fighting to that last game.
"We have to show the fans that, even if we go down, we'll come back."
Lowes, who was an unsuccessful applicant for the job when Bradford appointed Mick Potter as the successor to Steve McNamara ahead of the 2011 season, says he has a plan B in the event of relegation and admits that will almost inevitably mean the departure of some players.
England Knights scrum-half Luke Gale, who turned down a move to Hull earlier this year, is expected to join Castleford.
"If players get opportunities to move, then they've got to make a decision," Lowes said. "That's part of the game, you've just got to deal with it and move on.
"Hopefully the core of this team will stay with us no matter what. It's inevitable if we get relegated that players will want to stay in Super League.
"We'll try our best to get quality players to come in. We've got to get ready for both with a plan A and a plan B."
Lowes, who was right-hand man to England boss McNamara up to 12 months ago, says he has an assistant in mind but will not be in a position to make an appointment before Sunday's game.