Salford Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley believes the trip to face Warrington Wolves for Lee Mossop’s testimonial will be an opportunity to boost the squad’s fitness ahead of the 2022 Betfred Super League season.
After making it two wins from two in pre-season with a 32-10 win over Halifax Panthers on Friday night, Rowley will welcome new signing Tim Lafai and Dan Sarginson back into the fold for the short trip to the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday 4th February.
With the Red Devils’ Super League opener with Castleford Tigers just around the corner, the manager is looking to build momentum and fitness within his squad ahead of their final pre-season friendly.
Speaking after the Halifax game, Rowley said: “We’ll have the weekend off now and then get back into the grind as per normal, nothing changes there, and then we’ve got Warrington the week before the Super League starts.
“So, anybody who needs a top-up, or people like Lafai or Sarg (Sarginson) who won’t have played yet, they’ll be featuring in that game so we’ll have to be very careful with our players in the week leading to the game.”
Salford fans will be excited to see Tim Lafai in action after signing a one-year deal with the club in December 2021, with the Samoan international expected to add some crucial experience and quality to Rowley’s backline.
Speaking about his squad’s preparation for the season, Rowley added: “Ideally we’d have had another hit-out this week, but schedules are tight and the Championship starts this week so it was a difficult one.”
Despite the game against Warrington centred around celebrating Moose’s fantastic Salford career, Rowley hopes they can use the 80 minutes to build on the positives they have taken from their other pre-season fixtures.
Rowley added: “We definitely want to be improving before we go to Castleford, that will be another challenge in itself.
“We definitely have a lot of encouraging signs, there are a lot of good things to come from today and I guess as the weeks go on before the season starts, it’s just about becoming more consistent at the good things and understanding the bad things.”
Written by: Harry Siddall
Image credit: Steve McCormick