Salford Red Devils can confirm that the Club and Manu Vatuvei have agreed an early release from his contract due to an injury sustained in pre-season.
Director of Rugby & Operations Ian Blease stated: “Unfortunately, the injury Manu sustained in pre-season meant that he would be out for the full season.
“We had hoped that Manu would have played a significant part in our 2018 campaign however we now feel that it is best for both parties for Manu to return home.
“Everyone at the Club would like to wish Manu the best of luck for the future.”
Ahead of tonight’s fixture against Huddersfield Giants we take a look back at the last meeting between the sides at the AJ Bell Stadium in which Salford earned their first-ever Super 8s victory.
The Red Devils ran out comfortable victors crossing for nine tries which marked their first win for almost three months and their first-ever win in the Betfred Super League play-offs/Super 8s.
Salford went into the break with a dominant 30-4 lead over the Giants. Kris Welham opened the scoring as he took advantage of some poor Huddersfield defence from Rob Lui’s kick. Mid-season arrivals Tyrone McCarthy and Manu Vatuvei furthered the hosts lead.
Welham doubled his account for the afternoon before Niall Evalds jinked his way through the Giants defence. Jermaine McGillvary did cross before the break for Huddersfield, but Ian Watson’s side remained in control.
And, their control carried over into the second half with Vatuvei and Jake Bibby both scoring in quick succession to all but confirm victory for Salford. Oliver Roberts scored for Huddersfield, but it failed to slow the Red Devils down.
Back-row duo Ben Murdoch-Masila and Josh Jones both forced their way over in the closing stages to round off a fantastic afternoon at the AJ Bell Stadium. Huddersfield’s Ryan Hinchcliffe did score the final try however it was definitely Salford that were laughing after a rampant display.
Salford Head Coach Ian Watson: “I don’t think we have been as good as that in a game-plan for some time. The boys out there have done themselves proud.
“I thought we won the energy battle. We are a team that like to play, and I thought we did some things really well.
“This has been a real tough period for us with a number of losses, but I’ve always said we’d learn things as a group because the Super 8s has been a new experience for us.
“We have just got to worry about ourselves. The table will look after itself. We have been focusing on us rather than worry about chasing a Grand Final. We will take each step as it comes.”
The teams that day:
Salford: Evalds; Bibby, Welham, Sa’u, Vatuvei; Lui, G. O’Brien; Kopczak, Tomkins, Hauraki, Murdoch-Masila, Jones, McCarthy.
Interchanges: A. Walne, Brining, Lannon, J. Walne.
Huddersfield: Rankin; McGillvary, Mellor, Turner, Ormsby; Gaskell, Brough; Ikahihifo, Leeming, Ta’ai; Roberts, Ferguson, Hinchcliffe.
Interchanges: A. O’Brien, Rapira, Lawrence, Clough.
Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Friday’s trip to the DW Stadium to face Wigan Warriors.
Off-season additions Levy Nzoungou and Gavin Bennion could both be in line to make their competitive debuts for the Red Devils following successful spells on loan.
Club Captain Weller Hauraki returns to the squad alongside another one of the off-season newcomers Ben Nakubuwai who – before last weekend – had played 11 consecutive fixtures in 2018.
Daniel Murray could also be set to return to the team off the back of a new two-year deal with the Club.
Mark Flanagan, Lee Mossop, and Josh Jones are the forwards who miss out while Rob Lui is still recovering from a minor injury picked up in the recent victory over Wakefield.
Niall Evalds is ruled out due to failing a concussion assessment in last weekend’s defeat against St Helens.
Manu Vatuvei and Kriss Brining remained sidelined with the latter due to undergo surgery in the coming days.
The full 19-man squad can be seen below:
Salford Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for the Red Devils opening Betfred Super League fixture against Wigan Warriors at the AJ Bell Stadium, 7:30pm kick-off.
Jack Littlejohn is in contention to make his Betfred Super League debut for the Red Devils while Luke Burgess could also make his first regular Super League start for Salford.
Robert Lui and Gareth O’Brien are also named to give Watson options in the halves.
Ryan Lannon will serve the last game of his three-match suspension. Manu Vatuvei, of course, misses out after picking up a serious Achilles injury earlier in the week.
The full squad can be seen below:
Salford Red Devils can confirm that winger Manu Vatuvei has sustained a suspected serious Achilles injury today in training and the Club are awaiting results of a scan to determine the extent of the damage.
Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson said: “It’s terribly unfortunate that Manu has sustained an injury this close to the start of the season.
“Manu has been terrific for us since signing midway through last season and he is a massive asset for the Club both on and off the field.
“I really feel for Manu because I know how much he was looking forward to getting back out playing.”
Vatuvei joined the Club prior to last season’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final and featured eight times for the Red Devils scoring five tries in 2017. Vatuvei also featured for Tonga in the recent Rugby League World Cup.
Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has named his squad for the upcoming pre-season friendly against Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.
Luke Burgess is set to play his first game back in the red of Salford after missing the 50-12 victory over Swinton Lions last weekend with a minor knock.
Kriss Brining, who was named in last week’s squad but didn’t feature, will miss the game this weekend as a precaution. Ryan Lannon will also miss the game as he serves the second match of a three-game suspension.
Robert Lui is set to start the game alongside Gareth O’Brien in the halves while Jack Littlejohn moves down to the bench. Derrell Olpherts and Manu Vatuvei will start on the wings in place of Greg Johnson and Jake Bibby with the latter moving into the centres.
Watson has picked the same five-man forward pack as he did for last week’s comfortable victory over Swinton however fully expect all 25 men named in the squad to feature at some point.
Here is the squad in full:
All images have been provided by Club Photographer Steve McCormick.
Salford Red Devils Head Coach Ian Watson has revealed his sides squad numbers ahead of the 2018 season.
New signing Jack Littlejohn takes the number seven shirt in place of Michael Dobson who departed the Club at the end of last season.
Ben Nakubuwai will wear 18, Derrell Olpherts will wear 22, Levy Nzoungou will wear 25 while Gavin Bennion will wear 27.
Winger Greg Johnson moves from 21 to number two while Josh Jones moves up to 11 and Kris Welham moves to 3. Manu Vatuvei and Tyrone McCarthy, who arrived midway through the 2017 season, have been issued with numbers 21 and 17, respectively.
Here are the 2018 squad numbers in full:
Remember you can see all the Red Devils in action for the first time in 2018 when Salford renew an old rivalry against Swinton Lions at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 14th January, 1pm kick-off.
To purchase your tickets visit the Club Ticket Office, phone 0161 786 1570 or click here.
Also, fans can still purchase Season Tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or here. If you’d like to secure your Season Ticket on a six-month Direct Debit scheme you’ll need to visit the Club Ticket Office or phone 0161 786 1570.
Manu Vatuvei’s Tongan side were knocked out of the Rugby League World Cup following a semi-final defeat at the hands of England on Saturday morning.
England opened up a 20-0 lead against the surprise semi-finalists with tries from Jermaine McGillvary, Gareth Widdop and John Bateman.
However, Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolahea all went over in the space of seven minutes for the Tongan’s to almost pull off a memorable fightback.
There was late controversy as Andrew Fifita almost went over for Tonga with the final play of the game but was adjudged to have dropped the ball following a collision with Elliot Whitehead which wasn’t sent to video referee Ben Thaler by referee Matt Cecchin.
Vatuvei was the last Salford representative at the Rugby League World Cup.
New signing Gavin Bennion, who featured for Wales in the World Cup, has been in training with the Red Devils while fellow countryman Craig Kopczak has also linked up with the side today.
Ireland international Tyrone McCarthy is set to be back in training in midweek while Vatuvei will re-join the squad in the next fortnight.
England are set to face Australia in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final at 9:00am on Saturday 2nd December with the game being live on both BBC One and Premier Sports.
Remember to see any of our World Cup stars in action in 2018 you can purchase your Season Ticket at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online here. A list of all our ticket prices and their respective Direct Debit payment schemes can be found here with the Direct Debit option being available from the Ticket Office or over the phone.
Salford Red Devils duo Craig Kopczak and Gavin Bennion featured in Wales’ final game of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as they fell to a 6-34 defeat at the hands of Ireland.
Bennion, who joined the Red Devils last month, made his debut for the Welsh national side while Kopczak again captained John Kear’s side.
However, Wales suffered their third defeat of the tournament with Api Pewhairangi, Joe Philbin, Liam Finn and Liam Kay all crossing alongside an Oliver Roberts double for the Irish. Ben Morris scored Wales’ only try.
Salford Red Devils forward Tyrone McCarthy didn’t feature for Mark Aston’s men who unfortunately exit the tournament despite winning two of their three group games.
Manu Vatuvei didn’t feature for Tonga in their memorable 22-28 victory over New Zealand but could be in the running for a place in their quarter-final clash with Lebanon on Saturday 18th November in Christchurch.
Remember you can see all four of the Salford Red Devils World Cup representatives in action in 2018 by purchasing your Season Ticket. A full list of prices can be found here while a Direct Debit breakdown of each ticket can be seen here. Visit the Club Ticket Office, phone 0161 786 1570 or purchase online here. Direct Debit isn’t available online.