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Monday, 18 February, 2002, 23:00 GMT
McDermott: Time to forget Henry
Henry Paul was a key player for the Bulls
Paul was a great league player, according to McDermott
By BBC Sport Online's Phil Gordos

Veteran prop Brian McDermott is convinced Bradford will continue to prosper without the help of Henry Paul.

The New Zealand international was a major force for the Bulls as they claimed the Super League crown with an emphatic victory over Wigan Warriors last October.

But he had already switched codes by the time the Bulls beat Newcastle Knights in the World Club Challenge.

Henry's gone and people ought to stop talking about it... he is not coming back
Brian McDermott

That move has not gone as smooth as planned, with rumours circulating that he could be poised to turn his back on union after just a few months.

But McDermott says Bradford must forget about Henry making a dramatic return to his old club and says the Bulls are capable of dominating without him.

"Henry did a great job the last 10 games he played for us. I would not be exaggerating when I say he was outstanding," said the veteran prop.

"In pre-season, we realised just what a quality player we had lost, but the players that are still here - the likes of Jimmy Lowes, Paul Deacon and Robbie Paul - have responded and upped their game.

Robbie Paul
Robbie can really flourish now brother Henry has gone, says McDermott
"They have done everything possible so that three or four games into the season we won't be scratching our heads and wishing Henry would come back.

"Henry's gone and people ought to stop talking about it. He is not coming back and we should concentrate on what we've got."

Henry's departure means the spotlight is back on younger brother Robbie, who played a starring role in the 41-26 victory over the Knights.

And McDermott says Robbie can shine now that he is no longer in the shadow of his sibling.

"He would stand back and let Henry do certain things, but the responsibility is back on his shoulders and it is up to him to take the mantle over," said McDermott.

"I'm quite sure he is up to it. He is one of the most talented players in the game and there is no reason why he can't achieve what Henry did."

See also:

13 Feb 02 |  Rugby League
Pryce to miss start of Super League
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