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Page last updated at 22:52 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 23:52 UK

Bradford cleared to release Tupou

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

Bradford have won the right to release former New Zealand winger Tame Tupou after a Rugby Football League tribunal backed the club in their dispute.

Tupou has not played since last June because of a knee injury, prompting Bradford to terminate his contract.

A clause in Tupou's deal allowed the club to end the contract if he was unable to play or train for 26 weeks or more in any 12-month rolling period.

But the Bulls say they will help the 26-year-old to find a new club.

The case ended up hinging on the interpretation of the word "training", with the hearing adjourned two weeks ago to give the panel the opportunity to determine the precise meaning of the word.


The tribunal sided with Bradford but ruled the Super League club should have invoked the RFL's disciplinary procedure and awarded Tupou the equivalent of two weeks' salary in compensation.

Tupou, signed as a replacement for Bulls legend Lesley Vainikolo in 2007, had 18 months of his contract left to run.

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

Tupou had argued that he had been able to train and was therefore not in breach of his contract.

But Bradford claimed the extent of his injuries meant an effective return was not imminent.

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