LAWRENCE OKANGA-AJWANG (Left)
Younger brother to Edwin, who came through the Academy to play a number of games for Salford first team, at centre, during the 2013 season, Lawrence never thought twice about anything other than following in his brother’s footsteps, first joining Siddall ARLFC, at the age of 12, before coming to Salford, at the age of 14.
Initially starting here, with the Scholarship, he is now in his third year here, having just graduated to the U19s. One area in which he deviates from his brother, however, is in his choice of position, for despite being a little more slight in build, he has always played in the second row of the pack, which he prefers because there is more involvement and he enjoys running clever lines to get through defences.
In common with the rest of the team who played in that particular encounter, Lawrence singles out last year’s U16s victory over mighty St Helens as the highlight of his time here, so far, something he hopes to replicate against similar opposition, with the Academy.
JACK THOMPSON (Centre)
When the Lancashire town of Leyland is mentioned, most of us would associate it with its bigger neighbour of Preston, but for rugby league fans who live there it is to Wigan that they gravitate, as is the case with the family of Jack Thompson. Having, therefore, watched the Warriors, from being a young child, he, quite naturally, wanted to play himself, and so joined Chorley Panthers, at the age of eight, where he played at fullback.
During his three year spell with them the team distinguished themselves by winning the Division 1 league, at the end of one season, though Jack eventually brought his time with them to an end by joining Leyland Lions with whom he spent the following four years before moving closer to the action by joining Orrell St James’s.
This proved most fortuitous as, within a year, he had been brought to the attention of Salford Red Devils, whom he joined with the Scholarship, and where he was promptly turned from fullback into centre. As part of the team which had the notoriety of beating St Helens, here at the A J Bell, he looks back on that particular game with great satisfaction, and is now enjoying the increased intensity of the U19s. At six feet four inches tall, he is someone who can be relied upon to challenge with marked success for the high ball, whilst is considerable turn of pace will be a great bonus to the team, out wide.