Matt Orford
Still waiting for release

An unhappy Matt Orford has called upon the services of a top British sports lawyer to assist in gaining a release from Bradford Bulls so he can return to the NRL, with Canberra Raiders favourites to secure him.

It was over two months ago when the 32-year old halfback requested to leave Bradford despite having 2-years remaining on his contract. For that reason it’s clear to see why the Bulls are in no mood to agree an exit deal any time soon.

In a bid to resolve the problem, Ordford and his manager George Mimis have called in dispute resolution expert Richard Cramer as their legal representive.

Cramer has more than 25 years’ experience in the legal profession and is a partner with FrontRow Legal. His profile on the firm’s website states he is recognised by Legal 500 as one of England’s leading sports lawyers and has extensive experience in sports related disputes.

Cramer is a registered lawyer with the Football Association and acts as an agent in rugby league, rugby union and cricket.

Orford alleges he is owed nearly $200,000 since joining the Yorkshire club at the end of 2009, however the West Yorkshire club is seeking a smiliar amount to recoup in the form of a transfer fee.

However, it’s understood the Bulls board has resigned itself to the fact it might need to write off any hope of withholding the salary it still owes Orford as compensation for the move.

The Bulls would be keen to have the matter settled quickly with the Super League season starting on February12. Time is also quickly becoming the Raiders’ enemy ahead of their round one encounter with Cronulla Sharks on March 13 as the NRL kicks off for 2011, a club Orford is destined to join.

Star fullback Josh Dugan could also come into the reckoning to mirror Australian captain Darren Lockyer and shift into Campese’s five-eighth role as a stopgap measure.

Dugan wore the No.6 jersey during his junior days but has since developed into one of the NRL’s most devastating custodians, meaning the move would only be as a last resort.

The addition of Orford who steered Manly to the 2008 title would allow Dugan to remain in his preferred fullback position.

Read more at Rugby League Today