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.
The iconic Great Britain jersey will return to the international stage this autumn.
The recent meeting of the Rugby League International Federation confirmed a four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions – with full details of the schedule to be released in Auckland tonight.
It will be the first time Great Britain have played since the home series against New Zealand in the autumn of 2007, and their first appearance in the southern hemisphere since the 2006 Tri-Series – reviving a tradition which dates back to 1910, when the first touring team after the 1895 Northern Union breakaway were known as the Lions.
In addition to two Tests against the Kiwis and one against the Kumuls – the latter a first in Papua New Guinea since 1996 – Great Britain will play their first ever Test against the Tonga team who made such an impact in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, including in a stirring semi final against England in Auckland.
Wayne Bennett, who has been the England coach since 2016, will be the head coach of the 2019 Rugby League Lions, with further details of his support staff, the composition of the squad and the selection process, the kit design, and kick-off times and travel packages for the tour to follow in coming weeks.
“It’s an honour to be involved in the revival of the Great Britain team as head coach,” said Bennett.
“I’ve coached against them in the past with Australia, and wherever you’re from in the world of Rugby League, that Great Britain jersey is a famous one – and I’m sure the current generation of players will be excited by the prospect of wearing it and representing their country in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“It’s an exciting prospect for international Rugby League, and good to have that Great Britain tradition back.”
Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said:“The return of the famous Great Britain jersey is something people have been talking about for a long time – so this is an exciting announcement for us.
“It’s 12 years since Great Britain last played a Test, and 13 since they last travelled to the southern hemisphere, for the Tri-Nations series of 2006.
“While the development of the England Performance Unit has been a priority and a success for the RFL, across Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League – and will continue to be as we build towards the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – there is such history and tradition around that Great Britain shirt.
“It’s great for the game to have it back, as part of the schedule drawn up by the RLIF also including the Oceania Cup. We’ll be committed to respecting and honouring that tradition as we build up to the tour through 2019.”
The announcement has also been welcomed by senior figures from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Barry Coade, Chairman of Rugby League Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Great Britain & Ireland will tour again this Autumn. The tour looks like a real challenge given the rise of the Pacific nations and we think this is a big step forward for international Rugby League.”
Keith Hogg, the Chair of Scotland Rugby League, said: “Having the Great Britain team back is a boost for all of the home nations. We are proud of the contribution made by Scots to Great Britain Rugby League in the past, most obviously when Dave Valentine lifted the World Cup in 1954, and this announcement is a great incentive for young Scottish players to maintain that tradition in the future.”
Paul Chambers, General Manager of Wales Rugby League, said: “Wales Rugby League fully embrace and support the first Great Britain Rugby League tour to the Southern Hemisphere for many years. The whole concept of the Rugby League Lions adds another dimension to the ambitions of players and staff involved with all Home Nations and Wales Rugby League are looking forward to promoting and being involved in the process.”
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.
Wales captain and Salford Red Devil Craig Kopczak is named in Wales starting 13 ahead of their final group game against Ireland.
New arrival Gavin Bennion is on the interchange bench for John Kear’s side while Tyrone McCarthy is named in Ireland’s 21-man squad but not in the starting line-up.
Manu Vatuvei misses out on a place in Tonga’s starting 17 but is named amongst the 21-man squad for their massive game against New Zealand. Vatuvei won the Rugby League World Cup with the Kiwis in 2008 and the game will also have massive significance for Jason Taumalolo who made a switch of allegiance ahead of the competition.
Tonga take on New Zealand on Saturday 11th November and the game will be shown live on Premier Sports at 04:00am while Wales against Ireland can be seen at 07:30am on Sunday 12th November.
Four Salford Red Devils have been named in their respective countries squads for the second round of fixtures at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Craig Kopczak will once again captain Wales as they face Fiji in Townsville. Salford new-boy Gavin Bennion is also named in John Kear’s 21-man squad after linking up with the team this past week.
Manu Vatuvei has been named in Tonga’s 21-man squad as they look to make it two wins from two on Saturday against Samoa.
After impressing in Ireland’s victory over Italy last weekend Tyrone McCarthy is again named in Mark Aston’s squad as the Irish get ready to do battle with Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
Remember if you want to watch the Red Devils World Cup stars next season you can secure your 2018 Season Ticket at the best price and via Direct Debit before the 3rd November. Direct Debit can be set up by ringing 0161 786 1570 or visiting the Club Ticket Office. 2018 Season Tickets can also be purchased online here.
Salford’s Manu Vatuvei and Tyrone McCarthy both featured in respective victories for their countries on matchday one of the Rugby League World Cup.
Vatuvei, who has previously won the tournament with New Zealand, was named at full-back for Tonga in a comfortable 50-4 victory over Scotland.
Micheal Jennings was the Man of the Match crossing for a hat-trick of tries alongside scores from Jason Taumalolo, Sika Manu, Daniel Tupou and Peni Terepo. Danny Addy got the Bravehearts on the scoresheet but Steve McCormack’s side couldn’t handle the powerful Tongans.
McCarthy came off the interchange bench in Ireland’s surprise win over Italy in Cairns on Sunday morning. Toronto winger Liam Kay scored twice out wide either side of a George King effort. Saints duo Kyle Amor and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook both crossed as well as Michael Morgan in the second half.
Justin Castellaro scored a 70-metre interception try for the Italians before Nathan Milone went over but the Azzurri couldn’t stir a comeback.
Ireland travel to Port Moresby to face a Papua New Guinea side full of confidence following their hammering of Wales while Italy face the USA.
Come and witness the home debut of ‘The Beast’ Manu Vatuvei this Friday as the Red Devils host Castleford at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Vatuvei, who joined from New Zealand Warriors, crossed for two tries on his Super League debut last Friday against Hull FC and will be looking to add to his tally against the Tigers.
The former New Zealand international entered in Salford’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final defeat against Wigan and is hoping for a similar atmosphere this weekend as the Red Devils return to the AJ Bell Stadium.
Vatuvei, sponsored by Arlec Property Services, said: “The atmosphere and the noise two weeks ago at the semi-final was immense and to experience that in my first game was surreal.
“We’d only gone out to warm-up and the Salford fans were chanting and singing – it was fantastic.
“You only really get an atmosphere like that in a Grand Final in the NRL so it was really special to be involved with that.
“Obviously, we’ve lost both games so far that I’ve been involved with but I’m confident that we can get a victory this weekend on my home debut.
“As a winger it’s always nice to get off the mark early but we’d have preferred the victory.
“I’m hoping the Red Devils fans come out in their numbers again for my first game at the AJ Bell Stadium and get behind the boys.”
Don’t miss your chance to see ‘The Beast’ in action on Friday night. Supporters can buy tickets over the phone, at the club’s ticket office or online via the club website.
Fans are reminded that season tickets are valid for all Super 8s home fixtures.