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Page last updated at 22:49 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 23:49 UK

Bradford & Leeds end Harris feud

Bradford's former Leeds star Iestyn Harris
Harris's move to Bradford caused a storm in 2004

Bradford Bulls and Leeds Rhinos have settled their dispute over the signing of Iestyn Harris.

The Bulls apologised and agreed to pay compensation as well as Leeds's costs, averting a further High Court trial.

Leeds won an initial court battle in 2005, with a judge ruling they had first refusal to sign Harris when he returned from rugby union in 2004.

A further trial was expected in 2009, with Leeds allegedly claiming 3.2m in compensation from the Bulls.

A Bradford statement on Wednesday said: "Bradford Bulls now accept that, although when they signed Mr Harris they believed that they were free to sign him and acted in good faith in doing so, they now appreciate that in fact Mr Harris was committed to sign for Leeds Rhinos at the time, and apologise to Leeds Rhinos for doing so."

Former Leeds skipper Harris signed for the Bulls in 2004 after leaving the Cardiff rugby union team.

In July 2005 a High Court judge found Harris guilty of failing to honour a clause in his contract which gave the Rhinos first call on his services as a league player.

Leeds were claiming the 3.2m pay-out in lieu of a transfer fee as well as lost merchandise potential and ticket sales that Harris's return could have provided.

Bulls chairman Peter Hood said in January that Bradford could go bankrupt if Leeds won their claim.

But the Bulls statement added: "Bradford Bulls also wish to make it clear that the comments made by their Chairman, Peter Hood, reported in the press at the end of January 2008 were not intended to give the impression that Leeds Rhinos claims against Harris and Bradford Bulls were motivated by anything other than the protection of Leeds Rhinos interests."

see also
Bradford fear over Harris claim
31 Jan 08 |  Bradford
Leeds win in first Harris battle
20 Jul 05 |  Rugby League
Harris puts record straight
15 Jul 04 |  My Club
Harris defends Bulls choice
15 Jul 04 |  My Club
Harris move approved
02 Jul 04 |  Bradford

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