GALLERY: CROSS SIGNS NEW SALFORD CONTRACT

Deon’s a Red Devil for two more years!

After putting pen to paper on fresh terms, the England Knights international was whisked around the ground on his media duties.

It’s been an incredible journey for Cross and he’ll be hoping to continue his rapid development under the tutelage of Paul Rowley and his coaching staff.

As ever, we were there to capture what he got up to on resigning day – with photos courtesy of club photographer, Steve McCormick:


HARD WORK PAYS OFF!

It’s not always been plain sailing for the 27-year-old, but what a player he’s turned into!


SEE YOU SOON!

2023 may be over, but Deon and co. will soon be back on this field in 2024!


WHAT A JOURNEY!

Cross backed-up a stunning debut season with another fine performance across 2023.


ITS A KIND OF MAGIC

Deon has signed a Magic Weekend shirt for one of you lucky people to win – stay tuned on our socials to see how you can get involved!


THINGS YOU LOVE TO SEE

Our stellar centre is all smiles after committing his long-term future to the club.


DONE AND DUSTED

Sealed with a handshake, Director of Rugby and Operations, Ian Blease pose with Deon for a photo to confirm his two-year extension!


CROSS: “I’M VERY GRATEFUL TO THE CLUB!”

Deon Cross was very thankful to the coaching staff for his progression in Super League after penning a new two-year deal with the club.

The 27-year-old has taken to life at the top level by storm. Despite arriving as a natural winger, his switch to centre was a masterstroke by Paul Rowley – and Cross has not looked back since.

Forming a solid right-edge partnership with good friend, Ken Sio, Cross has notched five tries in 28 appearances across 2023 to back up last season’s tally of 14 in 29 games.

Speaking exclusively to our YouTube channel, Cross explained why penning fresh terms was made easier by the squad of players he works with every day.

He said: “I think because we’ve got one of the smallest squads in Super League, we’ve just got a great group of lads here.

“Everyone works hard together; everyone’s got the same vision, the same goals and there’s no egos around the place.

“The same with the coaching staff – they’re brilliant. No-one’s below anyone, everyone is on the same level and we’ve got a great group of lads.”

Released by St Helens as a junior, Cross progressed through Rochdale Hornets, Barrow Raiders and Widnes Vikings before landing a move to the Red Devils. 

It has certainly not all been plain sailing for the now-England Knights international, but he was able to recall the moment his luck changed for the better.

“I had a scholarship at St Helens when I was 15/16 and then got released – I just wasn’t good enough,” Cross continued.

“I played amateur and then had a couple of years in the Championship.

“I was fortunate to get a call from Ian Blease and he was willing to offer me a 12 month contract, with the option of staying if it worked out.

“I’m very grateful to the club, very grateful to Bleasy, grateful to all the coaching staff – especially Paul Rowley for giving me that chance of making my Super League debut!”

To hear more from Deon, head over to our YouTube channel by clicking HERE – make sure to subscribe!

DEON CROSS SIGNS NEW TWO-YEAR SALFORD RED DEVILS CONTRACT

We are delighted to announce Deon Cross has signed a new two-year deal at Salford Red Devils, with the option to extend by a further year.

The 27-year-old has been an outstanding addition since joining the club from Widnes Vikings at the start of 2022.

Arriving as a natural winger, but now thriving at centre, Cross has continued his rapid development under the tutelage of Paul Rowley and the rest of the coaching team.

In his debut season, Cross scored 14 tries in 29 games and earned a call-up to the England Knights squad – making his debut against Scotland in a 28-4 victory.

There’s no doubt – with this long-term extension – Cross will continue to be an important member of the team for years and years to come.

In reaction to extending his stay at the club, Cross said: “I’m really pleased to extend my contract at Salford.

“The club have given me this opportunity and I want to repay them with my performances and help achieve the goals that we have set as a team!”

Head Coach, Paul Rowley has added: “Myself and the group are delighted that Deon has extended his contract.

“He has had an incredible journey in rugby league and we look forward to being a part of it going forward – and helping him continue his remarkable progression.”

Director of Rugby & Operations, Ian Blease has also said: “It has been a real pleasure to see Deon’s development at Salford Red Devils.

“He is a player who embodies dedication and hard work. To see how he prepares for a game leaves me with no surprise when he performs to a high standard on the weekend.

“I am delighted we have been able to retain his services for the next few years. Deon is a first-class person and to see him pull on an England Knights jersey last year was a very proud moment for everyone at the club.

“I would like to congratulate Deon on his new contract and look forward to seeing him progress even further in 2024!”

Deon is committed for 2024 – are you? Buy your season ticket HERE!

PAUL ROWLEY NOMINATED FOR COACH OF THE YEAR

We are delighted to announce that Paul Rowley has been nominated for Betfred Super League Coach of the Year. 

After another season of progression, our Head Coach has been recognised alongside fellow competitors, Matt Peet, Steve McNamara and Adrian Lam.

With one of the smallest squads across Super League, the former England international mounted yet another playoff charge in 2023.

Competition for a playoff spot was possibly at its highest ever level across 2023; and the fact Rowley’s side achieved one more Super League victory than 2022, but narrowly missed out on the six, is the perfect indicator of just that.

Some standout performances include a memorable opening day victory versus Leigh Leopards, a rare win at Headingley and the golden point thriller against Warrington Wolves.

A mountain of injury trouble continued to hamper his squad, but to keep hopes of a top six finish alive, right until the final day, deserves a huge amount of praise.

Upon receiving his nomination, Rowley has said: “I am really honoured to be nominated for the award. It has been a challenging season and our group continues to do us proud.

“I am privileged to work with these players and grateful for the friendship, loyalty and brilliance of Kurt and Kris.”

The Super League Coach of the Year will be crowned at the sport’s biggest and most inclusive Awards Night at Emirates Old Trafford on Tuesday, October 10th.

MATT COSTELLO LEAVES SALFORD RED DEVILS

We can confirm Matt Costello has departed Salford Red Devils.

The 25-year-old progressed through the ranks at St Helens before joining the club ahead of the 2021 season.

Costello has since gone on to make 24 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring nine tries. He has also enjoyed loan spells at both Newcastle Thunder and Barrow Raiders during his time at the club.

Operating at centre or on the wing, Costello was a valuable and versatile weapon for Paul Rowley during the early parts of 2023; especially at a time where injuries were starting to mount up.

He leaves wish the best wishes of everyone at the club for his latest challenge.

Speaking on his time in red and white, Costello has said: “I have made great memories – with some great friends – playing for Salford and threw 100% in every time I wore a red shirt.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all the staff members and players that I have worked with during my time at the club, for making it an enjoyable place to come to work every day.

“And to the fans, for making two stands sound like four on game days!”

Director of Rugby & Operation, Ian Blease, has said: “Matty is a fantastic person; it has been a pleasure to work alongside him and he has been a great asset to the playing roster over the last few years.

“I want to wish him all the best in his future ventures and say a big thank you for all his efforts in a Salford Red Devils jersey!”

The club remains in conversation with other players whose contracts are to expire this year. Further updates will be shared when appropriate.

KALLUM WATKINS INCLUDED IN 2023 BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE DREAM TEAM

Kallum Watkins has been included in the 2023 Betfred Super League Dream Team.

Named captain ahead of the 2023 season, Watkins’ consistent performances have led to his inclusion in the 2023 Betfred Super League Dream Team line-up.

An early sign of the campaign to come from our skipper, Kallum went over to bring up the first points of our season in the first half of the opening round visit to Leigh Leopards – helping us secure our first ever Super League win at the Leigh Sports Village.

Despite an natural, elite centre, his selfless transition to the back row has been massive for Paul Rowley’s side – producing world class performances, week on week.

In 2023, Watkins was our top tackler (852), gained the most meters from offloads across the entire Super League and scored five big tries.

He ran 2515 meters in 25 games and managed 35 offloads.

In reaction to Kallum’s inclusion, Director of Rugby & Operation, Ian Blease, has said: “Kallum is consistency personified, and his inclusion in the Dream Team is testament to his efforts this season.

“Both on the field as well as off it – Kal’s quality as a leader within the group is clear, often taking responsibility and standing up when needed.

“Loved by supporters and teammates alike, and hugely respected by all those who know him, Kallum’s selection will come as no surprise. I’m delighted for him and wish him a huge congratulations.”

The inclusion of Kallum in this season’s Dream Team becomes our 5th straight year of representation in Super League’s end of season standout line-up.

2019 – Jackson Hastings
2020 – Krisnan Inu
2021 – Ken Sio
2022 – Tim Lafai, Ken Sio, Brodie Croft
2023 – Kallum Watkins

2023 Betfred Super League Dream Team: Jack Welsby (St Helens), Josh Charnley (Leigh Leopards), Jake Wardle (Wigan Warriors), Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Hull KR), Tom Johnstone (Catalans Dragons), Bevan French (Wigan Warriors), Lachlan Lam (Leigh Leopards), Paul Vaughan (Warrington Wolves), Edwin Ipape (Leigh Leopards), Tom Amone (Leigh Leopards), Kallum Watkins (Salford Red Devils), Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors), John Asiata (Leigh Leopards)

MATCH REPORT – SALFORD RED DEVILS 8-19 CATALANS DRAGONS (BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 27)

Salford Red Devils were beaten by Catalans Dragons in Round 27 of the Betfred Super League.

Paul Rowley’s side went into this game knowing they still had a chance of making the playoffs with a win, but also needed results elsewhere to go their way.

It was a scrappy first ten minutes from both sides – conceding errors aplenty.

Joe Burgess made a half-break on the left edge, but his pass inside to the supporting Ryan Brierley was adjudged forward.

The Dragons struck first on 11-minutes, with Tyrone May breaking the Salford line and teeing up Matt Whitley to crash over, left of the posts.

There was no short of effort from the team all evening. Out of absolutely nothing, Burgess’ lung-bursting run and booming tackle forced a drop-out from virtually our next set.

No way through the Dragons line and after making nice metres upfield, a high tackle allowed Sam Tomkins to knock over a penalty-goal.

He soon cost his side that two points, however. His scuffle in back play with Amir Bourouh earned them both a yellow card and Marc Sneyd the opportunity to knock over a penalty-goal of our own.

HALF-TIME: Salford Red Devils 2-8 Catalans Dragons

The second forty began the same as the first – error-filled.

Salford were showing fight and the introduction of Ben Hellewell really made a difference to proceedings.

His tenacity in the tackle forced a knock-on and then his first foray forward was stripped by a Catalans defender – earning us a full set just 20 out.

After a few stabs at the line, Ollie Partington threw a lovely short pass to Hellewell, who went crashing through for his fourth in a Red Devils shirt.

Sneyd brought us level with the boot and it was game on at the Salford Stadium.

Catalans themselves had a lot to play for with the League Leaders Shield on the line. May dummied a drop-goal attempt on 67-minutes, but from the next tackle Tomkins nudged one over from 20 yards to regain a slender lead.

It felt like that was a big turning point in the game and the visitors hit Salford with two quick-fire tries soon after.

Julian Bousquet was the first to crash over, with Tomkins’ scurry out of dummy-half confirming the victory just minutes later.

As it happens, Warrington Wolves’ victory at Huddersfield Giants means even two points wouldn’t have been enough for Salford.

But despite the disappointment, we can ultimately reflect on another season of progression where – despite a lot of adversity – the club was, once again, competing for a spot in the top six until the very final round.

FULL-TIME: Salford Red Devils 8-19 Catalans Dragons

Photo credit: Steve McCormick

MATCH PREVIEW – SALFORD RED DEVILS VS CATALANS DRAGONS (BETFRED SUPER LEAGUE ROUND 27)

It’s all on the line.

With so much at stake, Salford Red Devils welcome title-chasing Catalans Dragons to the Salford Stadium.

Quite simply; a win tonight coupled with a Warrington Wolves loss would confirm playoff rugby league for the second consecutive season.

Anything else would bring our 2023 campaign to a close.

The Dragons also need results elsewhere to go in their favour.

A win for Steve McNamara’s men – with Wigan Warriors falling to defeat at Leigh Leopards – would hand the French outfit the League Leaders’ Shield.

Here’s everything you need to know before this mammoth clash:


SQUAD NEWS

Just one change to the squad who made a long trip to East Hull last Saturday.

Brad Singleton – who received a one-match ban from the MRP – is back available for selection and will be a massive boost to Paul Rowley’s forward pack.

Unfortunately, Shane Wright and Alex Gerrard both remain long-term absentees.


INU’S PREVIEW

Reflecting on Saturday’s performance, Assistant Coach, Krisnan Inu was adamant that the team need to improve if they’re to beat a team of Catalans’ calibre.

“No excuse. We didn’t turn up with the right attitude and we didn’t perform well,” Inu said when asked about our performance against Hull KR.

“Whether you train five times a week or you train once, you know your job and that’s to hold the ball and score more points than the other team.”

He continued: “It’s a big game for everyone this round.

“Catalans are fighting for the top two to have a week off, next week and at the same time we’re fighting for that final spot in the six, so across the board everyone’s got something to fight for.”

You can watch Inu’s pre-match press conference in full by clicking HERE.


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

There’s still time to join us for our ‘Blue Light’ appreciation day at the Salford Stadium.

Come down early and sample everything we have on offer before heading inside to roar on the boys for a playoff-deciding clash against the Dragons.

Click HERE to buy your tickets, with pay on the day via our ticket office still an option for supporters.

WILLIAMS AND GREENWOOD TO DEPART SALFORD RED DEVILS

We can confirm Rhys Williams and James Greenwood will depart Salford Red Devils upon expiry of their contracts.

Both have made significant contributions to the team – in some big moments – and will be remembered fondly by everyone associated with the club.

Williams in particular has been a classy operator since joining Salford from London Broncos ahead of the 2020 season.

The Welshmen helped the club reach their first Challenge Cup Final in 51 years and scored a fantastic, length of the field try in that very fixture against Leeds Rhinos.

An established international, Williams has gone on to score 22 tries and so often been a reliable, hard-working winger over his four seasons at the club.

Greenwood is another player who played a vital role in our run to the 2020 Challenge Cup final.

He started that game in the back-row and scored a try on 59-minutes that fired the Red Devils into a dream lead at Wembley Stadium.

Although his last few years at the club have been hampered by injuries, Greenwood has showed glimpses of the quality he posses and leaves with our absolute best wishes.

Head Coach, Paul Rowley has said: “On behalf of all of the lads, we thank them for their contributions to the group and their friendship during their time at Salford.

“We wish them the best of luck for the future!”

Director of Rugby & Operations, Ian Blease has added: “I would like to put on record and say a very much heartfelt thank you to both Rhys and James for their service, dedication and professionalism whilst they have both been with us at Salford Red Devils.

“Both players have served rugby league and Super League greatly; who can forget that they were both were try scorers in our 2020 Challenge Cup final appearance, with both giving everything on the pitch from the moment they joined the club.

“I send James & Rhys – and their respective families – our best wishes for the future; they will always be very welcome back to the Salford Stadium!”

The club remains in conversation with other players whose contracts are to expire this year. Further updates will be shared when appropriate.

A RECORD-BREAKING SEASON – MANCHESTER HOSTS LEARNING DISABILITY SUPER LEAGUE FESTIVAL FINALE

The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League (LDSL) returns this Saturday (Saturday 23 September) for the biggest-ever season finale festival of 2023.

Around 400 players from 17 Club Foundations will take to the pitch at Belle Vue Stadium, Manchester: a fitting celebration for teams following a record-breaking number of participants in a single season accessing playing opportunities through the LDSL, including a memorable play-on-pitch experience at St James’ Park for Magic Weekend back in July.

Organised by the RFL in association with Community Integrated Care, one of the UK’s biggest social care charities and title sponsor of the Learning Disability Super League, the festival kicks off at 11am this Saturday, welcoming teams from all over the country for a spectacular sporting trip and celebration of the achievements for all involved this past year.

The growth of the sport can be traced back to 2018, when the Rugby Football League and Super League allied with Community Integrated Care to become the first governing body and top flight league with a dedicated Social Care Partner.

Community Integrated Care supports more than 3,000 people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, dementia and complex care needs to lead the best life possible.

With a shared vision of using the power of Rugby League to change lives, this unique sport was established to give people who access care and support in their daily lives the chance to play an adapted non-competitive version of the game for the clubs that they love, through the LDSL.

Bringing significant investment, resources, and skills to support the sport’s disability inclusion efforts, this collaboration has provided a range of innovative inclusive volunteering and personal development programmes for participants to access, led by the charity, making a significant difference to people’s lives, both on and off the field.

With free entry and parking on site, fans are encouraged to attend and show their support for the players and coaches.

Ahead of the weekend, Matt Price, who plays in the LDSL for Warrington Wolves, shared what the LDSL means to him.

He said: “From my start in the Learning Disability Super League, I’ve played at Anfield and St James’ Park, volunteered at the Rugby League World Cup and various Super League experiences, I’ve been able to meet my and interview my heroes and even landed my dream role with Community Integrated Care, supporting people with learning disabilities to get more active.

“In what other sport can you do this? I’ve built my confidence and skills, met so many new people and done things I’d have never thought possible for someone like me.

“It’s so much than playing… but I still also can’t wait to play this Saturday and wear my Warrington Wolves shirt with pride!”

Reflecting on another fantastic season, John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care said: “The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League and our relationship with the RFL, Super League and every club continues to change countless lives, transforming the opportunities that exist for many people with disabilities.

“What we offer is unique in world sport. It’s been another incredible season where people who access care and support have lived their dreams, including running out onto the pitch at St James’ Park, playing in the shirt of the teams they adore.

“These are iconic moments that showcase the power of bringing sport and social care together – and something the whole of Rugby League can be proud to be part of.

“We’d like to thank every participating club and coaching team for their commitment, bringing the excitement, passion, and dedication to deliver the best experiences for all.

“Best of luck to all the players and families this weekend in Manchester – enjoy it!”

Chris Godfrey, Social & Inclusion Manager at the RFL said, “We are really looking forward to this weekend’s event at Belle Vue Arena – it looks set to be a wonderful showcase of the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League.

“This will be the biggest festival of the season and what a way to bring 2023 to a close with over 400 participants taking part under one roof.

“We have had another record-breaking year in LDSL and it is a testament to the hard work all of our community foundations do to inspire more people to take up one of our inclusive variants.

“I’d also like to give a massive thank you to Community Integrated Care – their expertise and support is invaluable and I’m already looking forward to next season!”

Foundations supporting the event are Barrow Raiders; Castleford Tigers; Featherstone Rovers; Hull FC; Hull KR; Leeds Rhinos; Leigh Leopards; Newcastle Thunder; St Helens; Salford Red Devils; Sheffield Eagles; Wakefield Trinity; Warrington Wolves; Widnes Vikings; Wigan Warriors; York RLFC Knights; Bradford Bulls.

Venue and Timings

· Belle Vue Arena, 148 Kirkmanshulme Lane, Manchester, M12 4WB.

· 11am-2pm.

· Parking available on site and a concession stand open till 3pm.

If you’d like to find out more about Community Integrated Care or accessing any of their care and support services, please visit www.CommunityIntegratedCare.co.uk.

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