Tag: Ian Blease

Lafai to remain a Red until end of 2023

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce that the one-year option in Tim Lafai’s contract has been taken up, meaning the centre will remain a Red until at least the end of 2023.

Arriving at the Club in January as the second signing of head coach Paul Rowley’s reign, Lafai, who is sponsored by  has impressed in his first season in the Betfred Super League.

The centre, who has 10 years of NRL experience and has represented Samoa 17 times, including 9s competitions, has been one of Salford’s most consistent players this year.

Paul Rowley commented: “We’re really pleased to have Tim extend his stay at the club. Myself, the staff and all the players really appreciate Tim as both a player and a person.

“He’s a fantastic lad who has really bought into the culture we are growing at the club and I’m sure he will play a big part in the club’s growth and progression moving forward.”

Director of Rugby and Operations, Ian Blease, added: “Bringing Tim to Salford was a signing we all put a lot of thought into. However, given Tim’s previous NRL career, we became certain that Tim would hit the ground running in Super League and would prove to become a success at the club.

“We’re extremely happy that we put our faith in Tim as he’s been a tremendous addition to the group since pulling on the Salford shirt and has been one of our standout players every week. Taking the option up to have him with us for another year was an easy decision and hopefully we can do work on something more long-term with Tim as he carries on to progress at the Red Devils.”

Join Lafai on Sunday 26th June, when Salford host Wakefield Trinity for Round 16 of the Betfred Super League. Tickets available HERE.

Alex Gerrard signs two-year contract extension

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce that prop Alex Gerrard has signed a two-year contract extension.

Gerrard arrived from Leigh Centurions in January and has gone on to be a quite a regular name on Paul Rowley’s team sheet, featuring eight times in the league and in Salford’s only Betfred Challenge Cup outing of 2022 against Wigan Warriors.

Speaking on his contract extension, Gerrard said: “I’m really pleased to be a part of what we’re building here. The environment at Salford is great, they’re a good group of lads.

“I want to continue to contribute to the team positively and improve on my performances week in, week out.”

Head coach Paul Rowley commented: “Alex has been fantastic on and off the pitch. He’s an experienced and clever player and is well respected and valued by all the coaches and the playing group.

“I’m really pleased that he’s extended and look forward to him contributing positively to the group.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “Alex has been a brilliant addition to the squad since arriving in January and it’s great to see him thriving at Salford.

“He is an important part of our pack and we’re delighted to have him with us for another two years.”

Salford travel to Sewell Group Craven Park on Sunday for Round 14 against Hull KR. Purchase your match tickets HERE.

Kallum Watkins extends Salford stay

Salford Red Devils are pleased to confirm that Kallum Watkins has signed a contract extension until the end of 2023.

The England international signed for Salford, his boyhood club, towards the latter stage of the 2020 season, starting at centre for the Red Devils just over a month later in the Betfred Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

Our number 3 returned recently to the squad after over 11 months out injured. Watkins has not only hit the ground running, he’s done so playing in the second-row, rather than recognised position of centre, due to the pile up of injuries.

Watkins said: “”I’m really pleased to extend my stay here at Salford. The club are heading in a great direction with the playing group and coaching staff we’ve got here and I’m excited to continue working with everyone.

It’s been a tough last 12 months for me personally, but everyone at the club have supported me and pushed me to get back on the pitch and I’m really happy to be back playing. I want to focus on keeping fit now and doing my best to represent Salford both on and off the field.”

Head coach Paul Rowley commented: “It’s fantastic news that Kallum has committed his future to the club. He’s been fantastic on and off the field and is exactly the calibre of player and more importantly person that we want in our organisation. He’s an international athlete and a role model to all aspiring future Red Devils. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at the club in saying it’s a pleasure and privilege to have Kallum in our group.

Director of rugby and operations, Ian Blease, added: “It’s fantastic for Salford that we’ve got Kallum with us for at least another season. Kallum is the definition of a true professional who leads by example both on and off the field and despite a pretty tough year for him personally with injuries, his experience, talent and knowledge of the game has really strengthened our squad.

It’s great to see Kallum back on the field and his return to the squad has really gave us that shot in the arm we need as we get into the thick of the season.”

Join Watkins on Sunday 15th May for our Round 12 home clash with Leeds Rhinos. Tickets on sale HERE.

Deon Cross to remain a Red Devil until end of 2023

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce that we have exercised the one-year extension option in Deon Cross’ contract, meaning the in-form centre/winger will remain a Red Devil until the end of the 2023 season.

Cross arrived at Salford from Widnes Vikings ahead of the 2022 season and impressed from his first day of pre-season, leading to head coach Paul Rowley highlighting him as his standout player during the off-season.

A recognised winger, Cross quickly had to adapt his game due to a number of injuries at the club that left a shortage of centres in Rowley’s squad. However, Our number 28 has not once looked out of place in what is his first season in the Betfred Super League, with consistently strong performances every week.

Deon Cross, sponsored by PND Travel, said: “I’m really pleased to get the contract extension at Salford, as I have loved every minute so far at the club. I’m really enjoying my time here, especially with the playing group, coaching staff and the fans we have got.

“The club have given me an opportunity by giving me an extension and I want to repay them with good performances and assisting the team in the goals we have set for the season and beyond.”

Head coach Paul Rowley added: “It’s great news for Salford that Deon has extended his stay with the club. He’s a great example of perseverance, dedication and commitment to following his dreams.

“He’s worked extremely hard and is looking very much a Super League player. He’s a fantastic lad to work with and the lads, the staff and myself are looking forward to being a part of his continued Super League journey.”

Director of rugby and operations, Ian Blease, commented: “From all of the recruitment over the years, Deon’s signing and his progression in such a short space of time, has personally been one of the best signings I have made at the club so far. It is great to see a player being given a chance at elite sport and succeeding and at present, Deon is grasping his chance with both hands.

“I believed in Deon from the onset and after speaking with his agent, I knew he would be a perfect fit for our club. Deon’s willingness to adapt and learn at the Red Devils has been an absolute pleasure to watch.

“We have now taken up the option on Deon for 2023, and this will now give him more time to build on his game and grow his reputation even more for our club.”

Join Deon at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 15th May, when we see the return of Leeds Rhinos for Round 12 of the Betfred Super League. Tickets on sale HERE.

Cory Paterson appointed player welfare and team manager

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the return of former player Cory Paterson, who has taken up the vacant player welfare and team manager role.

Paterson spent the 2015 Betfred Super League season as a player for Salford, with spells at Newcastle Knights, North Queensland Cowboys, Hull KR, Wests Tigers, Leigh Centurions and Toronto Wolfpack as well. The Australian also represented the Indigenous All Stars on three occasions.

Speaking on returning to the Red Devils, Paterson said: “I’m really excited to be returning to the Club, I’ve made some great memories here and met some great people.

“When Rowls (Rowley) said there’s a position open in the player welfare side, I thought that’s right up my alley. Rowls is a very good friend of mine having played under him.”

“I’m really excited to be back in rugby league, I’ve had three years away from it. The main thing I’m looking forward to is being back in the environment with the boys and the coaching staff.

“We’re building a good strong squad here and the Club is moving in the right direction and I just hope I can play a part in any future success.”

Head coach Paul Rowley commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Cory to the Club. As an ex-Salford player, he’s already familiar with the city and its supporters and has played with and against many of our players.

“I’ve coached Cory on two occasions and he’s always shown a passion for player welfare and wellbeing. He’s the perfect fit and knows exactly what a winning culture looks like and needs.”

Director of rugby and operations, Ian Blease, added: “I’m delighted to have Cory returning to Salford as the Player Welfare & Team Manager.

“He is someone who knows the Club well as a former player and I have no doubt that he will only strengthen our back room setup, giving sound and honest advice from his experiences in life, and the game, to all the club’s players & staff.”

MARC SNEYD RETURNS TO RED DEVILS

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce that Marc Sneyd has returned on a three-year contract, as Paul Rowley’s first signing as head coach.

A product of the Salford youth system, Sneyd made his Betfred Super League debut for the Red Devils in June 2010 against Warrington Wolves and went on to feature for Salford for the next four years before departing for Hull FC in 2015.

The scrum-half, who also spent a year on loan at Castleford Tigers in 2014 during which he played in a Challenge Cup Final, is 9th in the leaderboards for most conversions and penalty goals in Super League history.

A proven winner, Sneyd has lifted the Challenge Cup twice in the last five years, winning the prestigious Lance Todd Trophy on both occasions with Hull FC.

Speaking on returning to where his rugby league career started, Sneyd said: “I’m really excited to be coming back to Salford. They’ve made some great signings and the squad looks like it’s taking shape.

“I’m excited to get on the field with the lads now and get stuck in with them.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease said: “To have Marc return to where it all started for him is a fantastic example of how a true professional never forgets where they came from.

“He’s a proven winner and will bring with him a plethora of skill and experience to a squad that is already packed with talent.”

NEW COACHING TEAM APPOINTED

Following the announcement of Paul Rowley as our new head coach for the next two seasons, Salford Red Devils can now confirm the rest of the coaching team.

Danny Orr remains assistant head coach but will now team up with Kurt Haggerty, who will also be assistant head coach.

Haggerty, who will be entering his sixth season in coaching, spent four years on the coaching team at Toronto Wolfpack working under Paul Rowley from 2017 to 2018, helping the Canadian side lift the Kingstone Press League 1 title in 2017, the Championship League Leaders’ Shield in 2018 and then promotion to Super League in 2019.

Haggerty joined the Leigh Centurions coaching side in January 2021, taking over the reins as interim head coach in June to lead the Leythers for the rest of this year’s Super League campaign.

Speaking on joining the coaching staff at Salford Red Devils, Kurt Haggerty said: “I am very happy to be joining Salford. It is a club I have admired from a far over the last couple of years. I’m really excited to get started and to meet all the players and I’m looking forward to working alongside Paul once again and seeing where this journey can take the club.”

Orr, who arrived at Salford in December 2020, will work alongside Haggerty next season.

Speaking on the season ahead and working with Rowley and Haggerty, Orr said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Paul and Kurt. Paul knows the Club well and I’ve enjoyed working with him already this past season.

“Kurt has brilliant coaching experience and I think our practice and knowledge of the sport will go hand in hand with each other.”

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley commented: “I’m looking forward to working with Danny, he’s a genuine good lad with a great work ethic, so a perfect fit for our club.

“Ive known Kurt for many years as both a player for me and a coach alongside me. He’s a true rugby enthusiast and strategic thinker that I have trust in and therefore his addition was integral in my decision to become head coach.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “I’m excited to watch where this new coaching team, led by someone who already knows this great club well, Paul Rowley, will take Salford Red Devils over the next few seasons.

“The players have already bought into what the coaching team want from them and there’s a positive feel to the place as we get ready for pre-season.”

“Paul, Kurt and Danny know just how much Salford Red Devils means to its loyal fans and I am certain they will make sure our lads leave everything out on the pitch every week.”

Join the new coaching team in 2022 by purchasing a Season Ticket HERE, with upfront or Direct Debit options available.

DEON CROSS JOINS RED DEVILS

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Deon Cross on a one-year deal, with the option for a further year.

The winger arrives from Betfred Championship side, Widnes Vikings, where he won Try of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year awards in 2021.

Cross started out at Rochdale Hornets in 2018, before moving to Barrow Raiders in 2019 for one season. The 25-year-old signed for Widnes ahead of the 2020 season, stating his dream was to play in Super League one day.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Cross said: “I’m really excited about the move, Super League has been the target since i started playing rugby.

“Salford is a fantastic club who have reached new heights more than once over the last few seasons, and I hope I can help this club achieve again.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “It’s no wonder why Deon was voted the fans’ Player of the Year this season at Widnes. He’s a very talented winger who is still only young, so has plenty of time to develop his game even further.

“Being around the likes of Ken Sio, Joe Burgess and Rhys Williams, who are all established Super League players, can only help Deon mature and improve.”

Get behind your Red Devils next season by purchasing a season ticket HERE.

Red Devils recruitment is sponsored by Morson Group.

Salford bolster pack with NRL forward

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Australian second-rower Shane Wright on a two-year deal.

Wright arrives at the club from NRL outfit North Queensland Cowboys, where he has played for the last four years, and is an exciting addition to the squad for 2022 and onwards.

The 25-year-old, who has also had a spell on loan at Mackay Cutters during his time at the Cowboys, was named Cowboys’ Rookie of the Year in 2019 after an impressive season for the Queensland side.

In 2020, Wright was part of the North Queensland side that won the NRL Nines.

“It’s a new chapter in my rugby league career and I’m excited to come over here and get stuck in.

“I’m looking forward to improving my game and buying into the culture at the club,” Wright said.

Speaking on the acquisition of Wright, director of rugby and operations Ian Blease commented: “I’m delighted that we have landed Shane’s signature.

Shane is bringing with him four years of valuable NRL experience and after speaking with Shane and watching him as a consistent performer at the Cowboys last season, he is coming to the Red Devils bringing his workmanlike attitude, strength and agility to the pack for next season and beyond.”

Join Wright in 2022 by purchasing an early bird season ticket HERE.

Salford sign Fijian prop King Vuniyayawa

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Fijian international King Vuniyayawa on a two-year contract.

Prop or second-row forward, Vuniyayawa joins the Red Devils from fellow Betfred Super League side Leeds Rhinos.

The 26-year-old began his career in the NRL with New Zealand Warriors, before making the switch to Super League ahead of the 2021 season.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Vuniyayawa said: “I decided to come to Salford to take on new challenges and to keep progressing in terms of my footy.

Super League footy is quite different to NRL footy, so learning to adjust to the game and how they play over here has taken a bit of time for me but I’m getting there.

“With joining the Devils, I feel like it’s a good move for me to focus on myself and what I can bring to the team.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease commented: “I am pleased and excited to bring in a quality player like King Vuniyayawa to the Red Devils for the next two seasons.

“King will add some strength and size to our pack as we continue to build our squad for 2022 & onwards. Going forward King will get the opportunity to build his career with the Red Devils having agreed to join us from the Leeds Rhinos.

As a club, we will work hard with and give King our full backing to enable him to become a leading Super League forward.”

Join King in 2022 by purchasing an early bird season ticket HERE.