Squad | Ian Watson makes one change for Saints

Head Coach Ian Watson has named his 19-man squad for Thursday’s Betfred Super League fixture with St Helens at the AJ Bell Stadium, 7:45pm kick-off.
Mark Flanagan comes into the squad in place of Lee Mossop. Tyrone McCarthy and Daniel Murray retain their places after impressive showings at KCOM Craven Park last weekend.
Jake Bibby will be looking for his first start of the 2019 season.
Tickets for Thursday’s game against St Helens are available to purchase at the AJ Bell Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE.
Here is the full 19-man squad:

Talking Points | Hull Kingston Rovers 22-24 Salford Red Devils

Salford Red Devils made it three wins from four in the 2019 Betfred Super League season with a remarkable comeback victory over Hull Kingston Rovers at KCOM Craven Park and it certainly threw up some interesting talking points.


The biggest talking point from the win over Hull Kingston Rovers was, of course, the nature of it. Salford Red Devils found themselves 22-8 down at half-time only to go on and earn a memorable 22-24 victory at KCOM Craven Park.
There were many impressive facets to Salford’s comeback but the key to their success was a resilient and improved second half defensive display. The Red Devils managed to keep to Rovers at bay throughout the whole of the second half and this is now the third time this season that Salford have kept a side scoreless for a full forty minutes.
On the other hand, the Red Devils retention of the ball improved massively in the second half as Ian Watson’s men cut out the errors and were much more sensible with ball in hand. This paid dividend as the half went on with Salford getting more attacking opportunities and eventually taking the chances that came their way.
There was a stark contrast between the Salford team from the first half to the second half and Ian Watson will be looking to ensure it’s the side that went out for the second half who turn up on Thursday evening against St Helens.

George Griffin’s performance 

George Griffin moved up from the interchange bench to loose-forward for this weekend’s win over Hull Kingston Rovers and it was an inspired change from Head Coach Ian Watson as the 26-year-old put in a phenomenal 80-minute display.
The loose-forward, who moved into the back-row, was an absolute rock in defence making a massive 50 tackles against Hull Kingston Rovers, this was 18 more than any other Red Devil. Griffin also took 13 carries and was a constant thorn in the side of the Robins in both defence and attack.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “For him to do eighty minutes like that and move to the right back-row and make an impact there like he did is a massive credit to him.

First games of the season

Along with Griffin moving into the starting line-up, Daniel Murray and Tyrone McCarthy were both named among the interchanges for the first this year and both forwards made strong openings to their 2019 Super League campaigns.
McCarthy has waited patiently for his first opportunity of 2019 to come and he certainly took it with both hands against his former club – Hull Kingston Rovers. McCarthy was solid in defence and certainly lifted the team on his entrance to the field.
Murray entered the field in the second half and immediately took it to the Hull Kingston Rovers forwards with some solid defence and strong ball carrying throughout. In fact, the 23-year-old took the carry leading up to both Derrell Olpherts’ and Ken Sio’s tries. Murray has continued to develop year-on-year with the Red Devils and that shows no signs of stopping in 2019.
Both Murray and McCarthy will be hoping their performances have put them in line for a position in the team for Thursday evening’s clash with St Helens at the The Salford Stadium.

Try-scoring exploits

Josh Jones was – once again – a standout performer for Salford and his he managed to power his way over in the first half for his third try in his last three games now crossing against London Broncos, Leeds Rhinos and Hull Kingston Rovers. This is the first time he has scored in three consecutive fixtures since 2013 during his time with St Helens.
Ken Sio pulled off a spectacular finish to help the Red Devils fight back and this was Sio’s fourth try in his first four outings for Salford. Despite not crossing last week, Sio has now found himself on the scoresheet against London Broncos, Hull Kingston Rovers and twice in Round One against Huddersfield Giants.

Derrell Olpherts’ try begun the comeback and this is Olpherts’ second try of the season after rounding off Salford’s opening win of the season against Huddersfield Giants earlier this month. With two tries this year, Olpherts has already matched his tally from the 2018 Betfred Super League season.
Finally, Joey Lussick has now scored in back-to-back games for Salford after also scooting over against Leeds Rhinos last weekend. Lussick also scored in similar fashion in last year’s Qualifiers meeting between the teams.
Tickets for our game against St Helens on Thursday 28th February are available to purchase from the The Salford Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 and online HERE.

Squad | Ian Watson makes one change to 19-man squad

Head Coach Ian Watson has made just one change to the 19-man squad as Salford Red Devils prepare for Saturday’s trip to KCOM Craven Park to face Hull Kingston Rovers.
Daniel Murray has entered the side and is in contention to make his first Betfred Super League appearance of 2019. Tyrone McCarthy will be looking to force his way into the starting side for the first time this year against one of his former clubs while Jake Bibby is also challenging for a spot in the team.
Ken Sio will make his first visit back to KCOM Craven Park since leaving Hull Kingston Rovers back in 2016.
Tickets for Saturday’s game against Hull Kingston Rovers are still available from the The Salford Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. You can also book coach travel for this fixture by visiting the The Salford Stadium Ticket Office and over the phone on 0161 786 1570. Salford Red Devils retain 25% of any early ticket purchase. To see ticket prices and coach pick-up times and points, click HERE.
The full squad is as follows:

Squad | Ian Watson names an unchanged squad for the third consecutive game

Head Coach Ian Watson has named an unchanged squad for the third consecutive fixture as the Red Devils prepare to take on Leeds Rhinos at the The Salford Stadium on Sunday 17th February, 3pm kick-off.
Salford have opened the season with back-to-back wins against Huddersfield Giants and London Broncos and currently sit atop the Betfred Super League table.
Tyrone McCarthy and Jake Bibby will be looking to make their first competitive starts of the 2019 season.
Tickets for the game are available to purchase at the The Salford Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. Remember, you can save £2 if you purchase your tickets in advance of gameday.
Here is the squad in full:

Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE. Season Tickets will now be at a reduced price on a pro-rata basis.

Squad | Ian Watson names unchanged 19-man for visit of London

Head Coach Ian Watson has named an unchanged 19-man squad for the visit of London Broncos at the The Salford Stadium on Sunday, 3pm kick-off.
Salford Red Devils got their 2019 season off to a winning start with a 14-34 victory over Huddersfield Giants last Friday.
Both Ken Sio and Gil Dudson debuted for the Red Devils and both men will be in line to make their competitive home debuts for Salford this weekend. In fact, if he is selected, Dudson will make his 200th career appearance.
Full-back Niall Evalds grabbed a hat-trick last week at the John Smith’s Stadium which saw him surpass 300 points for the Club and he will be looking to continue his scoring form on Sunday afternoon.
Logan Tomkins made his timely return to the Salford side at Huddersfield and is in line to feature again. Tyrone McCarthy and Jake Bibby will be looking to make their first appearances of the 2019 Betfred Super League season.
The full squad is as follows:

Talking Points | Salford Red Devils 52-6 Swinton Lions

Following Salford Red Devils’ comfortable victory over Swinton Lions in their first game of 2019, we take a look at some of the talking points from the fixture.
Attacking threat
The Red Devils ran in eleven tries in a controlled performance against Swinton and the attacking skill Ian Watson’s men possess was on show throughout. Junior Sa’u, Greg Johnson and Joey Lussick all profited from the attacking display crossing for braces while there was also another five Red Devils on the scoresheet.
Sa’u and Johnson’s tries all came on the back of some quick hands out wide. However, there was a number of occasions when Salford broke from deep thanks to the likes of Mark Flanagan, Niall Evalds, Jackson Hastings and young debutant Connor Davies-Aspey.
Flanagan – who began at loose-forward but went on to operate as half – linked up well with Evalds on a number of occasions which led to some great Red Devils tries. Hastings went through the line in almost identical fashion to his debut against Leeds Rhinos last year to set up Sa’u’s second try.
If the Red Devils can continue to cause problems from all over the field, we could see some more excellent tries throughout 2019.
Connor Davies-Aspey
Salford Red Devils Academy player Connor Davies-Aspey was awarded a one-month trial earlier this week and he certainly made the most of his opportunity against Swinton with an impressive cameo in the final twenty minutes of the game.
Davies-Aspey came onto the field and managed to make three clean breaks. His break in the final ten minutes put winger Derrell Olpherts over in the corner and he was close to finishing the game with two try-assists however pulled the trigger a second too early on his pass to Jansin Turgut just minutes earlier.
Head Coach Ian Watson praised the young hooker in his post-match press conference saying it ‘was great for young kid to come in and do that’. Read more of Ian Watson’s reaction here.
Davies-Aspey has certainly put himself in contention for a place in the squad next weekend as the Red Devils face current Betfred Super League champions Wigan Warriors in a pre-season friendly at the The Salford Stadium.
Versatility and depth
After the interval, Ian Watson made four changes to the starting side with Greg Johnson and Derrell Olpherts coming onto the field in place of Ed Chamberlain and Jake Bibby. Both Johnson and Olpherts would go on to score in the second half showing the quality of the Red Devils’ options on the wing this season.
In the pack, the likes of Tyrone McCarthy and Ben Nakubuwai entered the fray and made an impact following impressive forty-minute stints from Lee Mossop and new recruit Gil Dudson in the first half.
Half-back duo Jackson Hastings and Rob Lui both left the field midway through the second half with Mark Flanagan, Joey Lussick and Niall Evalds jumping into the halves. Salford’s try-scoring form didn’t slow down, and the Red Devils continued to look smooth in the absence of a permanent half-back.
The crowd 
On a cold January afternoon fans of both Salford Red Devils and Swinton Lions braved the conditions to watch their sides putting together a solid showing for a pre-season friendly with 1798 people in attendance.
Salford vs Swinton is a fixture – that was Head Coach Ian Watson pointed out earlier in the week – doesn’t happen too often anymore so it has become somewhat of a sought-after attraction. Our Betfred Championship visitors brought a strong following down the road to the The Salford Stadium this weekend while our loyal Red Devils were in fine voice as always showing the passion for the game in the local area.
Next weekend, the Red Devils host another local side in Wigan Warriors, and we’ll be hoping for a similarly strong turnout.

Tickets for Salford Red Devils’ next pre-season friendly are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. For a reminder of ticket prices, click HERE.Salford Red Devils 2019 Season Tickets are still available to purchase from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online HERE. You can spread the cost via Direct Debit payments, for more details, click HERE.

Gallery | Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital visit

Last week, Salford Red Devils visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to give out selection boxes and toys to some amazingly strong children ahead of the Festive season.
The visit was made possible by a host of Salford Red Devils fans and local business donating an array of selection boxes and gifts alongside donations from the Club and we’d like to again thank everyone who contributed.
Head Coach Ian Watson said: “The visit to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital was an honour for myself and the squad. To get to share some quality time with the staff and children was an amazing experience.
“The fact we could go in and be welcomed in the way we were was very special.
“We couldn’t believe the spirits of the strong children, many of whom may spend Christmas time there. The outstanding care that we witness was first class.
“All the squad loved the interaction with the patients and we hope to welcome many of them to Salford Red Devils games when on their way to recovery.”
And, we’ve put together twenty images from our visit to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for you to take a look at: 

Ian Watson | “They’re all at different stages”

Following the first week of pre-season training, Head Coach Ian Watson gave us an update on his squad and focused on how some of the new signings are settling in.
Adam Lawton and Gil Dudson both arrived at the The Salford Stadium to begin pre-season training last week and both have impressed the Head Coach.
Watson said: “Adam [Lawton] has been good. He’s finding it tough as he’s been out of the game for a little while so to come back into a Super League environment isn’t easy.
“He had his first real day last week where we were on the field, in the gym and did a little bit on the mats too. 
“Gil [Dudson] has settled in really well and has come into camp in really good condition. We know what Gil is all about as a player – he can create offloads, bust tackles and get you quick play-the-balls and he has certainly come in the right condition to set himself up for a good season.”
Salford Red Devils also brought try-scoring back Ken Sio to the Club in the off-season and while the Kiwi isn’t with the squad currently, he is expected to join them in the coming days.
Watson said: “Ken [Sio] has had his visa appointment on Friday, so he’ll get that then it’s normally five to seven days but hopefully in the next couple of weeks he’ll be over here and ripping in with the rest of the lads.
“We’ve been in touch with Ken and he has been set a programme, so he isn’t missing out on any of the training.”
Other than Sio, the other two absentees in week one of pre-season were Niall Evalds and Tyrone McCarthy following their international exploits with England Knights and Ireland, respectively.
Watson said: “Niall [Evalds] played the one game in Papua New Guinea and also did a lot of travelling over there as well.
“Tyrone [McCarthy] has played three games for Ireland. They’re all at different stages but Niall will be back in with us next week and Tyrone will come back in next week, but he’ll be on a lifting programme more than on the field.”


Of all the people who get to play professionally, it is the undoubted ambition of every one of them to play in the cup final at Wembley, but very few of them ever manage to do so, and even fewer get to repeat the experience, let alone lead out their team there on a third visit.
Yet all of these are the experiences of Tyrone McCarthy, our second row forward, who backed up two Challenge Cup Finals with Warrington, by captaining Hull KR in the 2016 against Leeds.
Walking out at Wembley for the first of these occasions, to face Huddersfield, was a very special experience for him.
“I remember going out to warm up, and experiencing the roaring of the crowd as we all did.  It all felt so surreal, being watched over by eighty thousand people instead of the usual ten thousand.  Then when we came back out for the start I was the last one out, and it was like a blast of cold air hitting you with the roar of the crowd.  I came on from the bench after fifty-five minutes, and that capped what had been the best week in my life.”
The second occasion, two years later, presented a quite different context.
“That first time it had been down to other people’s misfortunes that I was selected, whereas this time I had earned it in my own right, having played in every round up to the semi-final, and almost every league game of the season.”
Three years on, and with captain, Terry Campese, side-lined with injury, it was Tyke, as vice-captain, who had the ultimate honour of leading out the Robins to face Leeds, in their first visit since overcoming neighbours Hull FC, back in 1980.
“It was a very great honour to lead the team out at Wembley, but in every other way it was a day to forget, and I still don’t think the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game.  We just didn’t see that result coming.  Nevertheless, although you stand together and win or lose as a team, nothing could take away from me that proudest moment of my career, when I set foot outside the tunnel onto the Wembley turf at the front of my team.”
Unusually for someone who has made it to such a high level in the professional game, it was not until the age of ten that he took up the game with local side Woolston Rovers, and this despite having a brother, Liam, five years his senior who had played there for a number of seasons.
In truth, it was probably down to an element of sibling rivalry that Tyke avoided following in his brother’s extremely talented footsteps, by turning to football in his early youth, before eventually succumbing to the lore of rugby league.
“I ended up playing in an older age group from the very start – because I turned up on the wrong night – and stayed with them for my first couple of seasons, because that particular group were in need of an extra couple of players.
“I started off on the wing and then moved to hooker for quite a while, because at that time I was small, even for my own age.  It certainly helped develop my tackling technique being at a height convenient for wrapping myself around opponents’ legs.”
By the age of thirteen, and back at long last with his own age-group, he developed into a half back before eventually moving back into the scrum as a ball playing loose forward or second rower, whilst playing in the Warrington academy.
“I enjoy the second row because there is a bit more room to run there, but I know I can still do a good job at loose forward.”
With Vinnie Anderson and Ben Westwood firmly ensconced in Warrington’s second row, having that adaptability to fluctuate around was to prove extremely useful upon his promotion to their first team.
His development through the ranks brought with it both promotion and relegation between the premiership and league 1, with their winning their U14 season undefeated, in league 1, whilst, on a personal front, Tyke was invariably the side’s captain, and on a number of occasions won the Player of the Year award.
His joining the Warrington Academy, came via the Warrington Service Area, at the age of sixteen, with whom he operated for two seasons until he took up a place at university, to qualify as a PE teacher.
Within the Academy’s ranks were the likes of Kevin Penny and Ben Harrison among others, and in such a talented side it is unsurprising that they got to the Grand Final on a couple of occasions, even though they were never able to secure a victory in any of them.
His time at university saw his rugby development continue in a different direction with his involvement in both the Irish Students’ International side, and the Great Britain Students’ team, while at the same time continuing to play with the Warrington Reserves.
Upon the acquisition of his degree, he returned to the Halliwell-Jones, to re-join the club full time, making his Super League debut from the bench against Wigan, at the DW Stadium.
“I came on after fifty-three minutes, by which time I had got a stitch as a result of having drunk too much water.  Even so it was a dream come true, having always supported Warrington, home and away, from being a child.
“On the opposition’s side that day was Stuart Fielden, and I got a really good hit on him – so good that it was shown in our review.  I was really proud of that.
“I had been side-lined through injury for the previous three weeks, and to be suddenly told I was to be facing Wigan at the weekend, when I was only just coming back to fitness, was an almighty shock.  My head was all over the place in the build up to it.”
The following week, the Wolves travelled to Wakefield, where Vinnie Anderson went down injured in the first few minutes, so consequently Tyke ended up playing rather more minutes than he had ever imagined he would do.
“I enjoyed it but seemed to spend the whole game making yet one more tackle after another.”
The following week just happened to be the Challenge Cup Final, with Warrington making their first return to Wembley in thirty-five years to take on favourites Huddersfield, and Tyke was left wondering whether he would even be allowed to travel down with those who were playing, but in this respect he was given the nod that he would be doing so, and told to equip himself with a suit, similar to the club suits, in order to look part of the squad.
“It was whilst I was out shopping for my suit that I got the phone call informing me I was in the team.  I was filled with sheer delight.  John Clarke it was, who had gone down with an injury, and that’s what let me in, having spent the semi-final watching from the stand.”
Most remarkably, he had gone from re-joining the squad at the end of his university course, to gaining a winner’s medal at Wembley, in a mere half a season.
“It would have been a great start to anyone’s career, but I saw it as a reward for all the hard work I’d put in, from Youth, through university, and then with the team.  The people who missed out on the day probably deserved it more than I did, particularly taking account of where they were at, in their careers.
“The club made the most of the occasion, and also in winning.  Nothing was held back at all, and they got the rewards from it in the end.”
Surprisingly, his career then took something of a dip by his being loaned out to, first Leigh, and then Wakefield, before returning to favour at Warrington just in time for their return to Wembley to face Leeds, which they did with another winning performance.
Despite this, however, the following season saw him out on loan again, this time to Swinton, and then later to Castleford, so that at the end of that 2013 season he left the Wolves to make the first of two sojourns down under when he joined Cairns side, Northern Pride, in the Queensland Cup.  Being a squad of part-timers, Tyke had to support this by working for the club as a teacher in local schools.
This proved to be an ideal arrangement and he completely regained his love of the game by helping them to win the league and every other trophy, that year, for which they were eligible.  Nevertheless, when the opportunity to return fulltime with Hull KR presented itself, he promptly snapped it up.
With their Wembley Cup Final appearances overshadowing the rest of the season, it was the run-up to that, which he remembers with most fondness.
“Beforehand, I was looking forward to it more than either of the other two finals, as in many respects it replicated my first visit with Warrington, with both of these teams having returned after an identical thirty-five years.”
Far happier memories return when he reflects on the earlier rounds, such as beating Wigan the week after they had posted sixty points against the Rovers, in a league game.  Even more pleasing was the semi-final win over, of all people, Warrington.
“I was really up for that one as it was an opportunity to show them just what they had missed out on, though it wasn’t very nice seeing your ex-teammates in tears at the end, having missed out on the final.”
A return down under, this time to the NRL with St George, brought a new challenge for 2016/17, but, although he did play a couple of first team games, his debut being away at Wests Tigers, and his home debut being against Brisbane Broncos, most of his time was spent playing with their reserve side, Illawarra Steelers, with whom he had a highly successful season.
His final move, to join us here at Salford, came partway through the 2017 season, and he says that he has been enjoying it here ever since, although he acknowledges it has proven to be rather more challenging than he had expected.
“I love proving people wrong so I would much rather face any challenge head on, than shying away from it.  It certainly isn’t the end of the world, and we have shown ourselves to be strong enough, as a  squad, to overcome it all.  If you don’t believe in yourself fully, you really shouldn’t be playing,  You just need enough fight and willpower, and we’ve got that in abundance in our team.”

International | Tyrone McCarthy named in Ireland train-on squad

Salford Red Devils forward Tyrone McCarthy has been named in the 30-man train-on squad for Ireland for the forthcoming European Championships, which doubles as qualifiers for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
The top two nations will earn spots in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup while the bottom two will compete in a further qualification group in 2019 which will include Italy, either Norway or Greece and the top two nations in European B, which will be decided this weekend.
McCarthy was a staple in the Red Devils side throughout the 2017 scoring four tries. McCarthy featured for Ireland in last year’s Rugby League World Cup where defeat to Papua New Guinea prevented them a spot in the quarter-finals.
Ireland’s 35-man train-on squad is as follows:
Sean O’Sullivan, Connor Smyth (Athy Sharks), Michael Ward (Batley Bulldogs) Chris Hall, Connor Phillips (Belfast Stags), Joe Keyes, Gregg McNally, Ethan Ryan (Bradford Bulls RL), Peter Ryan (Coventry Bears RL/ Galway tribesmen), Aaron Ryan (Dublin City Exiles) Ryan Guilfoyle, Ed O’Keefe, Roy Stanley (Galway Tribesmen), Ronan Michael (Huddersfield Giants RL /Longhorns RL), Lewis Bienek (Hull FC), Api Pewhairangi (London Broncos RL), Andrew Coade, Matt Connelly, Gareth Gill, Richie McHugh, James Mulvany, Kevin Varga  (Longhorns RL), Tyrone McCarthy (Salford Red Devils), James Bentley (St Helens), Will Hope (Swinton Lions), Liam Finn, Scott Grix, Luke Hooley (Wakefield Trinity), George King, Pat Moran (Warrington Wolves), Alan McMahon (Waterford Vikings), Callum Mulkeen (West Wales Raiders), Callum O’Neill (Widnes Vikings)  Liam Byrne, Declan O’Donnell (Wigan Warriors).
The full European Championship fixtures are as follows:
ROUND 1 – 
Saturday 27 October
Ireland v Scotland – Morton Stadium, Santry (kick off 2pm)
France v Wales – Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (kick off 6pm)
ROUND 2 – 
Friday 2 November
Scotland v Wales – Gala RFC, Galashiels, (kick off 7.30pm)
Saturday 3 November
Ireland v France – Morton Stadium, Santry (kick off 2pm)
Saturday 10 November
France v Scotland – Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (kick off 6pm)
Sunday 11 November
Wales v Ireland – Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (kick off 3pm)
2019 Season Tickets are now available to purchase at the The Salford Stadium Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or by simply clicking HERE. For all 2019 Season Ticket prices click here.
To check out all FAQ’s regarding 2019 Season Tickets click here.  

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