IAN WATSON “THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF PRESEASON”

Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson reflected on the team’s pre-season form so far.

The Red Devils defeated Betfred Championship side Leigh Centurions 40-14 in their final home game before the start of their Betfred Super League campaign.

Watson said: “In the first fifty minutes, I thought we were really good; we looked a lot more composed.

“It was important we had a team like Leigh for our second game – just that step up from Swinton.

“Swinton did a real good arm wrestle with us at the start of the game for about 20 minutes last week, but we knew Leigh were a different proposition; I expect them to go really well this year.

He added: “I know the way John [Duffy] sets them up, in terms of how they like to play rugby and they like to be physically tough defensively as well, so that was a really good hit-out for us, especially the first fifty minutes.”

Salford Red Devils now turn their attention to Warrington Wolves on Thursday 23rd January and Watson reflected on the team’s pre-season progress to date.

“We’ve had two hit-outs and we’ve come through pretty healthy, so that’s where we wanted to be at after two games.

“We’ve got the Warrington game now and we need to come through that and be ready then for St Helens.

“There are little things we are ticking off as we go along.

“On the whole, we’re pretty pleased with where we are.”

Watson also discussed how improvements in squad depth had affected his team choices. To support Ian Watson’s recruitment, Red Devils fans can become Squad Builders.

“You want to be making those decisions; you don’t want to be struggling to find a player to put in,” said Watson.

“You want players who are going to be able to step in and perform just as well as the other guy has done – or even better than that – and that’s the beauty of preseason.

“People always push themselves forward. You might have an idea of what your team is – or your seventeen – but then there will be people who generally push themselves forward.

“I think Jack Ormondroyd has done himself no harm again. I think he’s done really well. Josh Johnson has done himself really well again as well.

“The next thing for us, is the step up when we play Warrington in the next pre-season friendly.

“That’s Super League opposition, which is the level we’re going to be playing at, so it’s seeing if those guys perform at that level consistently as well for us.”

Salford will next be in action when they travel to Warrington for Mike Cooper’s testimonial on Thursday 23 January. Further details can be found HERE.

To see them in action throughout 2020 at the best price, purchase a Salford Red Devils season ticket, which can be done online HERE.