Ian Watson | “We’re definitely excited.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Swinton Lions, Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson gave his thoughts on a variety of topics including pre-season, his squad and this weekend’s opponents.

On getting back underway…

“We’re really excited. We’ve got through all the tough stuff in pre-season and now it’s time to get started and now it’s about what we can do on the field and seeing where we are at particularly in regard to the start of the Betfred Super League season and fine tuning those last little details. But, we’re definitely excited.”

On the fixture…

“Salford vs Swinton doesn’t happen all that often anymore so it’s always good when we get to go head-to-head. It’s going to be a great occasion at the AJ Bell Stadium and I’m hoping we see a big crowd to support the lads for the first game of 2019.”

On squad selection…

“We’ll go strong. The lads who’ve impressed in pre-season will get first shot because you get rewarded and some of the lads have really put their hands up in pre-season. Jake Bibby has come on leaps and bounds while Ed Chamberlain has been outstanding since he joined. We will give the majority of them a game, but we may hold a few back for our second pre-season game against Wigan Warriors next weekend.”

On the two triallists…

“We’ve got young Connor Davies-Aspey who is 16 years old and is from our Salford Red Devils Education Academy team. It’s a big plus for the Salford Red Devils Foundation that he has come in and trained with us and he’s done really well. We’ve decided to give him a one-month trial and maybe hand him an appearance this weekend against Swinton.

“The other triallist is Calvin Wellington who came through the ranks at St Helens and has been away playing Rugby Union. Hgot a very good background. We’ll see how he goes against Swinton.”

On a few injuries…

“Both Josh Wood and Logan Tomkins picked up injuries at the backend of last season and are still recovering.

“Josh Wood has been in full-time training with the squad, but he needs to up his contact a little more before we can give him a game. He’s a little behind schedule for where we need him to be but in the next month, we’ll start to get him where we need him to be.

“Logan Tomkins has missed all of pre-season out on the field and his injury is just about us making sure we get him to the right stage so that he doesn’t struggle again on his return.”

On Swinton Lions…

“Swinton have rebuilt really well, and they’ve got a strong squad. Of course, they’ve signed Gavin Bennion who was with us last season, so he is going to want to have a big game and they’ve got a few other players with Salford links so it’s going to be interesting.”

Tickets for the game are still available to purchase and you can do so prior to the game from the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office. You can also purchase over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or by simply clicking HERE.

For a reminder of prices, click HERE.