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Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Tupou contests Bradford release

Tame Tupou
Tupou's Bulls career has been blighted by injury

Former New Zealand winger Tame Tupou has taken Bradford to a Rugby Football League tribunal in a bid to prevent the Bulls from terminating his contract.

The 26-year-old has not played since undergoing knee reconstruction surgery last June.

The Bulls want to release him from the remaining 18 months of his contract.

Under the terms of the deal Tupou signed in 2007, Bradford can tear up the contract if he is unavailable for 26 weeks in a 52-week period.

The tribunal was adjourned for a week to allow the panel members to consider what constitutes 'training'.


The former Brisbane Broncos player made just nine appearances due to knee and rib injuries last season and is still not considered fit to resume playing.

Tupou, who was represented at the tribunal by Leeds-based sports lawyer Richard Cramer, argued that he is able to train and is effectively not in breach of his contract.

But Bradford claimed the extent of his injuries mean an effective return is not imminent.

Tupou joined the Bulls in the summer of 2007 as a replacement for Lesley Vainikolo, who joined rugby union side Gloucester.

Bradford, who were represented at the tribunal by chairman Peter Hood and head coach Steve McNamara, claim they were not told the extent of Tupou's injury.

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