Tag: Paul Rowley

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.

“We definitely know we’re capable” – Paul Rowley

Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley was proud of his teams’ efforts to almost overturn a 24-4 half-time deficit away against Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.

In Round 7 of the Betfred Super League, the Red Devils travelled to the Be Well Support Stadium hoping to build on their last league victory against the Leeds Rhinos a fortnight ago.

Despite moments of opportunity, the hosts – largely through Tom Johnstone – dominated proceedings in the first 40 and went into half-time with a sizeable lead.

The reaction in the second 40 was excellent, with some intense pressure on the Wakefield defence building the platform for an almost spectacular comeback. Deon Cross, Ken Sio and Rhys Williams all scored second-half tries, but the game was just out of Salford’s reach.

Speaking to the press after the game, Rowley was quick to say how proud he is of his team for their efforts but knows there is room for improvement if they want to return to winning ways.

Rowley said: “I’m always proud of their efforts – I’m proud of them every day they turn up for training. I’m proud of all our players, I’m proud of all our staff every week in training and on a match day.

“But I don’t give out bravery badges and being a champion is really tough, and that’s why it’s tough – we’re not going to give cuddles out for digging in though, it’s about winning.”

After a weeks’ rest, Salford go head-to-head with local rivals Warrington Wolves in Round 8 of the Betfred Super League. It begins a tricky stretch of fixtures for the Red Devils, but the head coach is seeing it as an opportunity to showcase the talent this team possesses.

Rowley continued: “We’ll rest up for a few days now and have a good week’s prep into Warrington, who will obviously be fired up and desperate themselves.

“But we don’t waver or fear anybody, we definitely know we’re capable, but you’ve got to defend.”

Daryl Powell’s side have lost their last five in all competitions, so they will also be looking to bounce back and climb back up the table. It’s all set up to be an enthralling clash at the Halliwell Jones Stadium next Thursday.

Purchase your tickets HERE for Rivals Round.

Written by: Harry Siddall

“We need to be at our best” – Paul Rowley

Paul Rowley has said he and his staff will always remember his ‘special’ opening Betfred Super League game, with his Salford Red Devils side beating Castleford Tigers 26-16 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle stadium last Friday.

With Castleford tipped for a successful campaign under the leadership of Lee Radford, it was always going to be a tough test for the Red Devils to get a result, but their grit in defence and impressive attacking transitions was too much for the Tigers.

Tries from Ken Sio, King Vuniyayawa and Deon Cross – all in the first 40 minutes – gave Salford a commanding lead and were backed up by some cool kicking by the returning Marc Sneyd.

Rowley handed out Salford debuts to a range of players, but in his post-match press conference, he himself was asked how it felt to take charge of a Betfred Super League dugout for the first time.

He said: “I’m enjoying it, it’s good and today was special. I was just saying to Kurt, my assistant, that we’ll always remember this day, this will always stick in our head, the first game and it feels like rugby’s back times two.

“Everybody’s back out, brought a friend and it just feels like we’re back on it now – rugby league is back in a big way.”

Up next for the Red Devils is their first home game of the season, with Betfred Super League newcomers Toulouse Olympique visiting the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Looking ahead to that game, Rowley admitted he knows the opposition will be targeting his side as a potential game to pick up points, but he believes the team still have another gear to find, despite such a classy performance on Friday.

“They’ll be saying the same. If they’re targeting games they’ll be saying Salford – everyone’s been saying Salford, Toulouse and Wakey are the three that will battle it out.

“So, Toulouse will have us firmly fixed as a winnable game and why not, it’s Super League and I believe anybody can beat anybody.

“Again, I’d like to reiterate I don’t think we played anywhere like we can do today but we’ve got some ingredients and character traits that are pretty good, so we’ll need to prep really hard for Toulouse and the boys know we need to be at our best to beat them.”

Show your support for the Red Devils on Sunday and purchase a ticket HERE for our Round 2 clash with Toulouse Olympique, kick-off 3pm at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Written by: Harry Siddall

Image credit: Steve McCormick

PREVIEW: CASTLEFORD TIGERS V SALFORD RED DEVILS | FRIDAY 11TH FEB | ROUND 1

Paul Rowley’s Salford Red Devils begin their 2022 Betfred Super League journey with a trip to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle to take on Castleford Tigers, later this evening.

Tonight’s contest presents a fresh start for an exciting squad to test their capabilities against some tough opposition.

The Red Devils have enjoyed a productive pre-season, beating both the Swinton Lions and the Halifax Panthers at the AJ Bell Stadium, before some encouraging academy talent produced a spirited display despite defeat to the Warrington Wolves in Lee Mossop’s testimonial.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference earlier this week, Rowley said: “I’ve definitely learnt about the lads during pre-season. I think at one time they used to say lock them in the dressing room with a load of beers to learn about them, but I think you learn more about them when it’s tough and we’ve certainly done that.

“I think it’s been positive in that respect and I think anything we’ve learned about any of the players has been in a positive way. A little bit of education on our part, what they do under fatigue or what their common traits are and some have just exceeded expectations.”

Castleford, who finished 7th last season and narrowly missed out on the playoffs, have also had a successful pre-season, convincingly beating both Doncaster and the New York Knights.

After leading Hull FC for over six years, this will be Lee Radford’s maiden season in charge at Castleford, after Daryll Powell left his position to take over at Warrington Wolves.

The West Yorkshire-based side are tipped to have a promising Betfred Super League campaign, so they will be a stern opening test. However, the Red Devils boss says he is only focusing on what his side can do.

Rowley said: “I think you do focus on yourself. It’s difficult because you’re obviously looking at Lee Radford’s style of coaching and how Hull played, but again, totally different personnel and you have to throw in the mix how Cas previously played.”

On Wednesday, the head coach named his first 21-man squad of the season, including new faces Tim Lafai, Ryan Brierley and Brodie Croft, who will be aiming to show their talent and get the campaign off to a positive start.

King Vuniyayawa is also in contention following his move from the Leeds Rhinos, while Amir Bourouh is a young player who is creating a lot of excitement with his performances at hooker.

Rowley confirmed yesterday that the only absentees from the squad as whole at the moment, are Kallum Watkins and Harvey Livett – both suffering from injury knocks.

With a full house expected, it’s shaping up to be an electric night of rugby league. Salford will be looking to feed off the energy of the travelling fans and show just what they’re capable of.

Written by: Harry Siddall

Image credit: Steve McCormick

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.”

HALIFAX PANTHERS FRIENDLY ON SALE

Tickets are now on sale for Salford Red Devils’ friendly against Halifax Panthers, on Friday 21st January kick-off 7:30pm.

We host the Betfred Championship side at the AJ Bell Stadium and this will be a good test for new head coach Paul Rowley, a former Halifax man during his playing career.

Young Salford hooker Amir Bourouh, who recently turned 21, spent time with Halifax during the 2021 season so will be very familiar with the opposition come Friday 21st January.

Only the West stand will be open, with Halifax fans situated on the side closer to the North Stand and Salford fans allocated seats towards the South Stand.

At as little as £10 for an adult ticket, you don’t want to miss this one!

Friday night under the lights returns, and you can show your support of Salford Red Devils in 2022 by purchasing your match ticket HERE.

SALFORD SIGN SAMOAN CENTRE TIM LAFAI

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Samoan international Tim Lafai on a one-year deal.

Centre Lafai has almost 10 years of NRL experience, having previously played for Canterbury Bulldogs on two occasions and St. George Illawara Dragons.

Lafai has represented Samoa at two World Cups, as well as featuring for his country in their historic test match against Fiji in 2016, marking the 30th anniversary of rugby league in Samoa.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Lafai said: “I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my career and I can’t wait to get to work as soon as I arrive.

“My family and I are excited to be part of the Salford community and we’re grateful for this opportunity.”

With Harvey Livett and Kallum Watkins set to miss the start of the 2022 season through injury, the arrival of Lafai is crucial for Rowley and the side.

Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley added: “As it stands, we would not be able to fill an established back line due to a few of our lads out through injury for the start of the season.

“Not only does Tim help to fill a gap, he will fill it with much-needed experience and quality and I’m really pleased to have him on board.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease commented: “I’m delighted that we’ve managed to land Tim’s signature. He is an established NRL and international player who will bring heaps of experience and rugby knowledge to the pack.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing Tim pull on the Salford shirt in 2022 and I have no doubt he will be at home here in the UK.”

Join Tim Lafai in 2022 by purchasing a season ticket HERE. Early Bird prices are still available, as well as Direct Debit.

GRAND FINAL TICKETS ON SALE FOR SALFORD SEASON TICKET HOLDERS

2022 Betfred Super League Grand Final category D tickets are now available to purchase via Salford Red Devils’ ticket website, for season ticket holders exclusively. 

Super League have given all clubs the opportunity to make 100% revenue on Grand Final ticket sales from Monday 8th November, through to 5pm on Thursday 6th January.

Season ticket holders can purchase Category D tickets at a 50% discount at a price of just £20, with juniors in this area priced at £10.

All club tickets will be allocated in the North Stand for that ‘club day out’ feel, with finalist clubs in their respective ends (East and West).

These past two seasons have been unprecedented and challenging, so let’s all look forward to what promises to be a special occasion on Saturday 24th September at Old Trafford.

If you are a season ticket holder and want to purchase a Grand Final ticket, you can do so HERE.

You can grab yourself a 2022 Salford season ticket HERE, as we look to reach the pinnacle of the Betfred Super League competition once again next season, under new head coach Paul Rowley.

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.”