We’re back! Salford Red Devils kick-off their pre-season preparations against Swinton Lions at the Salford Stadium this afternoon.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Paul Rowley’s side in action, but optimism is high ahead of another Betfred Super League season.
With a World Cup squeezed into a jam-packed off-season, the Red Devils saw a record amount of players picked for their respective nations on the back of an excellent season with the Club.
The break also saw the Head Coach and his assistant, Kurt Haggerty both commit their long-term future to the Club, with Krisnan Inu – a former Grand Finalist with Salford – rejoining to become part of the coaching staff.
Recruitment has mostly arrived in forward areas, with Oliver Partington a stand-out addition from Wigan Warriors. Adam Sidlow and Andrew Dixon will don the Red and White for a second stint, with youngsters Ellis Longstaff and Sam Stone also looking to make a positive impact.
Ben Hellewell was the sixth and final player to make a permanent switch to the Club after impressing in his two-week loan spell from Featherstone Rovers back in July 2022.
Before the season really gets started, Rowley will have a chance to assess his squad in the first of two friendly matches. Swinton Lions are the first task; a side they beat 48-12 last January, when Ryan Brierley, Brodie Croft, Deon Cross and Shane Wright all scored their first tries in Red Devils’ colours.
As expected, the Head Coach has named a squad packed with first and reserve-team stars for today’s clash. There’s bound to be plenty of rotation throughout the 80 minutes, as the lads try to build vital match fitness.
It also presents a fantastic opportunity for some of our young talent to show the coaching staff their ability. Joe Coope-Franklin and Billy Walkley – two players from our blossoming Welsh pathway – have recently been handed first-team shirt numbers 29 and 30.
After featuring for the Scottish National Team in the 2022 World Cup, Ryan Brierley was forced to have surgery to fix some discomfort in his knee.
His road to recovery has been swift and the full-back says he’s looking forward to getting back out on the pitch and building some vital match fitness.
“I feel like it’s been good,” Brierley said, “I’ve done a lot of work over the Christmas period. The boys got a bit of time off, but I knew I needed to catch up on a lot of work that’s been done.
“It’s feeling okay. Again, I think with anything I don’t think anyone will be feeling 100% tomorrow when that whistle goes, so we’ll soon find out, but in terms of all the box ticking, that’s all been done.
“The strengths fine and we’ll just see how it reacts after the game – but I’m feeling okay!”
To hear everything our number one had to say before our first friendly of 2023, click the tweet below.
🗣️ "𝗜 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 𝘄𝗲'𝘃𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝘁 𝗮 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘂𝗺 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀…"
We caught up with @RyanBrierley after the first captain's run of 2023 to preview tomorrow's friendly against Swinton Lions!
— Salford Red Devils 👹 (@SalfordDevils) January 28, 2023
How to buy tickets
You can still join us at the Salford Stadium today. Kick-off is at 1pm and tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE.