MATCH REPORT – WIGAN WARRIORS 32-4 SALFORD RED DEVILS (SAM POWELL TESTIMONIAL)

Wigan Warriors were victorious in Sam Powell’s testimonial this afternoon, beating Salford Red Devils 32-4 at the DW Stadium.

After retaining the Peter Smethurst trophy last weekend, today presented a great opportunity for some first-team stars to build valuable match fitness ahead of the Betfred Super League.

There was a Red Devils debut for Sam Stone, with Club captain, Kallum Watkins returning from shoulder surgery to play in the centre. In the absence of Ken Sio and Joe Burgess, Deon Cross joined Rhys Williams as our wing pairing.


Paul Rowley’s pre-season injury woes continued within six minutes. After a heavy challenge, Jack Ormondroyd went down clutching his shoulder – clearly in a lot of pain – and played no further part.

Wigan sprang their first attack moments later. Jai Field broke down the right and combined with Bevan French to hand the hosts the lead. Harry Smith kicking the first of four conversions.

Williams was finding some joy down the left, and the wingers acrobatic effort in the 9th minute almost got the reward it deserved, but the Welsh international was just nudged out of touch.

Kai Pearce-Paul added to the Warriors lead shortly after. He received a tidy short pass from Cade Cust 10 metres out to spin away from his man and slide over.

Salford were trying to build any momentum they could and finally went over through Deon Cross. Man of Steel, Brodie Croft produced a lovely show and go from the play-the-ball and flicked a pass out to Cross on the right who had the easiest of crossings.

The Red Devils were on the front foot, but their wave of attacking play was halted when French intercepted a loose pass and sprinted 50 metres upfield to slide under the posts.

HALF-TIME: Wigan Warriors 18-4 Salford Red Devils

Rowley’s side had the first chance of the second period when Matt Costello excellently rode a challenge to tee up the supporting Sam Stone. The Aussie sent a grubber kick into the corner and Field was forced to boot it high into the stands for a goal-line drop out.

Amir Bourouh replaced Andy Ackers at hooker and sprung straight into life from his first play-the-ball. Showing brilliant deception from the ruck, he sprung past the Wigan line and played through Croft, but our number six just couldn’t shake his marker.

Wigan added to their lead just before the hour mark through Field. On the last, he chased a chipped ball from Cust to gather and slide under the posts.

They added a second in quick succession when the fresh Abbas Miski picked up a loose ball in the right corner and acrobatically touched the ball down, despite the best efforts of Oliver Partington.

King Vuniyayawa broke a few challenges with a charging run, but – as was the pattern of the game – his offload to Atkin was stopped just before the try-line.

There was still time for Miski to grab his second just before the hooter, with Smith’s short pass giving him the simple task of strolling over in the corner.

Attentions for Rowley’s men now turn to our Betfred Super League opener against Leigh Leopards in just under a fortnight.

FULL-TIME: Wigan Warriors 32-4 Salford Red Devils

MATCH PREVIEW – WIGAN WARRIORS VS SALFORD RED DEVILS (SAM POWELL TESTIMONIAL)

Salford Red Devils travel to the DW Stadium on Sunday to face Wigan Warriors in their final pre-season test of 2023.

Paul Rowley’s side got off to a winning start last Sunday, dusting the off-season cobwebs by retaining the Peter Smethurst Trophy against Swinton Lions.

The Red Devils first-team built some valuable match fitness in the first forty, with Stuart Wilkinson’s Reserves allowed the second forty to showcase their talent.

Rhys Williams scored the Entertainers first try of 2023 in the left corner, but further crosses from Ken Sio, Andy Ackers, Ellis Longstaff and Ryan Brierley handed Salford a commanding 26-0 lead at the break.

The Betfred Championship quality Swinton possess took over in the second-half, but Wilkinson’s lads – including now-first-team members Joe Coope-Franklin and Billy Walkley – more than held their own.

Attentions have now turned to Sunday, where Salford will be facing Wigan in aid of Sam Powell’s testimonial. The hooker has enjoyed a stellar rugby league career and the game will act as a celebration of his incredible contribution to the sport over the years.

Rowley and his staff will have this final 80 minutes to assess his squad before the Betfred Super League kick-off on February 17th. Tickets are still available for our clash at Leigh Sports Village, click HERE to join us.


Squad News

Paul Rowley has named a 21-man travelling squad, which includes a potential Salford debut for Sam Stone. The back-rower joined the Club from Leigh Leopards in early November and arrives at the Salford Stadium with a lot of potential to progress his already vast rugby league knowledge.

Ben Hellewell may also make his second Red Devils debut following a successful two-week loan spell last season from Featherstone Rovers.

Full squad: Ryan Brierley, Kallum Watkins, Tim Lafai, Brodie Croft, Marc Sneyd, Jack Ormondroyd, Andy Ackers, King Vuniyayawa, Sam Stone, Oliver Partington, Chris Atkin, Tyler Dupree, Shane Wright, Alex Gerrard, Ellis Longstaff, Amir Bourouh, Rhys Williams, Matt Costello, Ben Hellewell and James Greenwood.


Rowley’s preview

For the first time in 2023, Head Coach Paul Rowley addressed the media ahead of this particular fixture.

The new Betfred Super League season was obviously high on the agenda, with everyone keen to know the match fitness of our squad with the opening game just around the corner.

“They’ll do more minutes this week against better opposition,” Rowley said.

“It’s a difficult challenge at the best of times going to Wigan, so it’ll be a good benchmark as friendlies are for, getting match fit and preparing for the rigours of the season.”

There was also plenty of praise for Powell; a player Rowley and his staff hold in the highest of respects. When asked whether the opposotion will have that extra motivation to win the game for their teammate, Rowley replied: “Nothing less; it doesn’t matter who they play, that’s the Wigan team and they have that culture.

“But we want to put our best foot forward for Sam Powell too.

“Sam is held in high respect from our Club as well from the outside looking in, so we want to pay our respects to Sam’s career by putting our own performance in and making sure it’s a good quality game.”


How to buy tickets

Pay on the day is still available for supporters who want to join us at the DW Stadium!


GALLERY – END OF PRE-SEASON IN SIGHT…

Captain’s run is done. Salford Red Devils are set to take on Wigan Warriors in their final pre-season friendly of 2023.

Paul Rowley’s side will want to build on a positive first-half outing against Swinton Lions last week and gain some valuable match fitness ahead of their Betfred Super League opener against Leigh Leopards.

Check out our training gallery below:

Photo credit: Steve McCormick



SALFORD TO FACE WIGAN WARRIORS IN SAM POWELL’S TESTIMONIAL

Salford Red Devils will kick-off their pre-season preparations with a friendly against Wigan Warriors in Sam Powell’s testimonial.ย 

After 10 years of service to Wigan and Rugby League Powell has been granted a Testimonial year by the RFL for 2023. The fixture will take place at the DW Stadium on Sunday February, 5th, with kick-off scheduled for 3pm.

Powell has made 25o appearances for the Cherry and White’s, winning five major honours and cementing himself as a one-club man.

Upon announcement of the fixture, Director of Rugby and Operations Ian Blease has said: “It’s an honour for Salford Red Devils to be involved in Sam Powell’s testimonial.

“Sam is a true warrior with immense quality and his performances for Wigan over the years have been outstanding. His commitment to the sport is exemplary and something every young player should strive to replicate. Everyone at the Club is looking forward to celebrating his magnificent achievements on February 5th.”

On being granted his Testimonial year, Powell said: โ€œItโ€™s going to be a special year for me, my family and friends. This will be my 11th season coming up and to spend such a long time at a special Club like Wigan is a real achievement.

โ€œWhen I signed my last contract, I mentioned how important the Club is to me and my family. Iโ€™m very grateful for how supportive Rads and his staff have been.

โ€œI will have a game against Salford on Sunday 5th February at the DW Stadium. To have the game at home is great and I hope all our fans get behind it. Itโ€™s going to be a special year.

โ€œIโ€™m very grateful for the committee Iโ€™ve got in place. Theyโ€™ll be the backbone of this year being successful. My first job is to play well for Wigan. Iโ€™ll rip in when I get back in pre-season and Iโ€™m hoping it will be a very successful year.

โ€œI hope the fans buy into it; I really appreciate the support. I was a fan before I started playing so I know what itโ€™s like. A massive thank you to all my old teammates, staff and coaches โ€“ back in my amateur days too. My wife Ria has been on the journey with me. Iโ€™m hoping this season is going to be great.โ€

All the ticket information can be found HERE.

OLIVER PARTINGTON SIGNS FOR SALFORD

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Oliver Partington from Wigan Warriors on a two-year deal.

Partington, who can play as a prop or loose forward, has played over 70 times for Wigan since his debut in the Betfred Super League in 2018, with a Grand Final appearance and one run-out for England Knights.

Despite his age, the 23-year-old has established himself at the elite level of rugby league and will be an important part of our forward pack from 2023 onwards.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Partington commented: “I’m over the moon to have signed for Salford. After speaking to Paul Rowley, I knew it was the right place for me. I can’t wait to get going with the lads and looking forward to meeting the fans!”

On Partington, head coach Paul Rowley said: “Itโ€™s great news that Ollie has chosen our club to continue his journey. Iโ€™m looking forward to seeing him playing alongside our lads and know he will fit in perfectly.”

Director of rugby and operations, Ian Blease, added: “I’m really excited about capturing the signing of Ollie. It’s a real statement of intent getting a player of his ability, and he’ll fit straight into the culture created at our club.

“I expect him to flourish as a player and progress into competing for international honours during his time here – hopefully for a long time to come.

“When I first met with Ollie, I was really impressed with his attitude to playing rugby and it is clear he will fit right in within our incredible group.”

Partington is available for sponsorship for the 2023 season. Please email hannah.edge@salfordreddevils.net if you are interested.

Join our new prop next year, by purchasing a 2023 season ticket HERE.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH:ย  SALFORD V WIGAN

As the teams trooped off for the extended (owing to live TV coverage) half time interval, at last Fridayโ€™s home Super League encounter, both coaches and groups of players must have had much with which to feel well satisfied.

Visitors, Wigan, will have been pleased with the fact that they were in front, even if by only six points, and with the manner in which they had managed the game, spending much of the half, particularly during the opening twenty minutes, on attack with adequate ball possession and field position.

Salford, for their part, will have been especially pleased with their defence, which had withstood all but one of the questions thrown at it, and also with the way in which they had gradually worked towards parity with the Warriors in terms of position and possession, in the second quarter.ย  That they had not managed to score, in order to level up the scoreboard, was a little disappointing but nevertheless they had come as close to doing so as Wigan had, to extending their lead.

That first forty had produced just one defensive error – by Salfordโ€™s right edge – where an overlap had been worked for left winger, Marshall, who promptly cut inside to set up Smith for a ย try he, himself, converted.ย  Other than that, the game had been an intriguing arm wrestle, in which Salford had matched the cup holders in every aspect.ย  After the disappointment at Hull KR, the week before, the return of two big forwards not only steadied the side, it gave them some noticeable go-forward.

Sitaleki Akauola ran as strongly as we have seen from him, and he gave what was probably his best performance, since joining the Red Devils.ย  On his introduction, midway through the half, the imposing, Sam Luckley, set about giving a sterling performance, in which he took on, and diminished, the dominant power of the Warriorsโ€™ pack, by injecting some considerable hit-ups, which quickly started to take their toll on the oppositionโ€™s defenders.

So, with honours close to being even, thoughts turned to the coming forty minutes, and how things might shape up.ย  Wigan had shown not only in the previous week, against Castleford, that they can turn round, from the interval, as a completely different team.ย  Whilst there have been odd occasions earlier in the season, such as the Leeds and Castleford encounters, when Salford have done likewise, there have also been other occasions they have failed to do so, and consequently succumbed to the dominance of the opposition.

It did not take long after the restart for spectators of both persuasions to discover just which path the second forty of this game would take – a mere four minutes to be precise.ย  A crucial penalty went Wiganโ€™s way, after an altercation involving players from both sides.ย  From that they built up an attack which brought Marshall his first try from Bibbyโ€™s kick, to take the Warriors into double figures.

The home sideโ€™s immediate response, with an attack of their own, went sadly wrong three minutes later, when Andy Ackersโ€™s pass was intercepted by Field, from which he and French broke clear, down the right edge. ย Thankfully, Salfordโ€™s excellent scrambling defence was equal to the attack, and although they were initially outpaced by the pair, they got back in sufficient numbers to snuff out the threat, forcing French to spill the ball.

Ironically, a mere two minutes later, an end-of-set kick landed straight in the arms of French, and he and Field promptly set off again, but this time, despite the endeavours of the Salford defence, the combined efforts of two of the fastest players in Super League, managed to get the winger in at the corner and the goal kick then put them sixteen points in front.

There could not have been a more morale deflating event possible, and that, coupled with the loss of energy Salford players had already expended in the first half, enabled the visitors to hit a purple patch, running in three tries in six minutes, as a result of their total domination of possession during this period.

Hurt as their pride was, the Reds struck back near the end with two deserved tries, both converted by Marc Sneyd, from kicks into the in-goal area.ย  The first, which followed the awarding of a repeat set, was from Sneydโ€™s kick into the corner, the bounce of which eluded Ken Sio, but was caught and grounded by his centre, Deon Cross.

Finally, the absolutely magnificent Kallum Watkins was first to get a hand to the ball, from Brodie Croftโ€™s kick. The visiting, Shaun Wayne, can have been nothing but impressed by the recently converted, second rowerโ€™s performance throughout, and to secure the final try of the evening was only just dessert for him and his wholehearted efforts.

With yet another weekend ahead without a match, the Red Devils might well benefit from this one rather more than the last one, two weeks ago.ย  On that occasion it disrupted their run of wins, but this time they hopefully will use it to rediscover the form they had been showing in their previous four fixtures.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH:ย  HULL KR V SALFORD

Not for the first time, a team in a rich vein of form paid the price for a fixture-free weekend, with a loss of momentum and subsequently, a loss of quality in their performance.ย  That certainly appeared to be the case with Salford, in their outing to East Hull to take on the Robins, following two fine home victories over Leeds and Castleford.

The lapse of seventeen days between the last of those, and yesterday, was enough to take a little of the shine off their performances, as was exemplified by their failure to capitalise on the most clear-cut of try-scoring opportunities, six minutes into the game.

Fine handling from Amir Bourouh, Tim Lafae, Alex Gerrard, and Brodie Croft, virtually on their own try-line, successfully sent Deon Croft, supported by Ken Sio on his inside, sprinting down the right wing. ย With only the covering Ethan Ryan to beat, a simple two on one was all that was required, but the pair, who normally have such a great understanding with each other on attack, had too much time to think about it and consequently over-complicated it with two, almost unnecessary, passes.

In fairness, Ryan did extremely well in the situation by not committing himself, totally to any tackle, and the chance petered out as the attacking pair ran out of room along the touch line. ย The contrasting effects on the two sides, however, was the most significant outcome, with the home-side growing in confidence, and, soon after, taking a ten-point lead, with back-to-back tries.

Their tally continued to grow throughout the half to nineteen, through two goals, a try, and a drop-goal, but the Red Devils did manage to pull back six points with a converted try of their own, on 27 mins.ย  Hull had great difficulty in dealing with Harvey Livettโ€™s kick into the in-goal area, with two players fumbling it for Tim Lafae to pounce upon.ย  Marc Sneyd added the goal-kick.

Singular as that score was, it was sufficient to put the visitors back in contention, and with only thirteen points separating the two sides at half time, confidence still remained that Salford could come back in the second half, just as they had done against much greater odds, at Wakefield.

Unfortunately, that was not to be. ย A no-look flip-pass, close to the Robinsโ€™ try line, which might have initiated a try for Salford, was intercepted, and quickly led to their hosts extending their lead by a further six points, and, from that point, events turned significantly in their favour.

Most crucial of all were the two, virtually back-to-back, sin-binnings of Tyler Dupree and Livett, which meant that the rest of the team were left facing the buoyant KR with only twelve men for twenty minutes, during which time the home side exploited their numerical advantage, and continued to build up a quite commanding lead.

The Red Devils did however round off the match with a further couple of tries, sandwiching a final six-pointer for Hull, which gave the Salford fans something to cheer about, before their long journey home, Deon Cross latching onto the end of another kick into the in-goal area, and then Joe Burgess benefitting from Lafaeโ€™s interception to put him away,

Six weeks ago, the Red Devils most impressively improved their performances in the league game at Wigan.ย  This Friday will be the ideal opportunity for them to repeat that feat when the Cup holders visit the A J Bell for the return encounter.

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CHALLENGE CUP TIE WIGAN V SALFORD

RED DEVILS IN DEPTH: CHALLENGE CUP TIE WIGAN V SALFORD

There must have been many a huge sigh of relief across those clubs still to be drawn from the bag, when Salford Red Devils were announced as the visitors to the DW Stadium, in the sixth-round tie, of this yearโ€™s Betfred Challenge Cup.ย  Not for nothing, are Wigan known as The Cup Kings, especially after their decade-long run of winning every final of the late eighties and early nineties.

In fairness, Salford do not have a bad record of recent results in cup ties against the Warriors, including that marvellous victory of 1996, which brought the aforementioned run of victories to its conclusion, with Salford having home advantage in the majority of those games.ย  This one was different, though, with it being the Red Devils having to do the travelling, and the usually tight, or unexpected, result was never on the cards, at least not judging by the final score.

A twenty-point victory sounds quite a comfortable win for the home side, especially when they kept the visitors to nil.ย  That is only part of the story, however, as those who attended will testify, with the Reds having every bit as much of the game as their illustrious hosts.ย  What they did not do, however, was turn any of their opportunities into points.

For a full fifteen opening minutes, the travelling Salford faithful must have been lulled into a feeling of growing confidence, as their favourites went head-to-head in an intriguing arm wrestle, which gave no indication of the disappointments to come shortly after, as they succeeded in containing Wigan between the two twenty metre lines.

Indeed, for the vast majority of the game, the Redsโ€™ defence coped extremely well with the challenge presented by the Warriors.ย  Where it all went wrong was in the number of handling errors and set restarts, which quickly crept in, thereafter, and although not the first, it was one of the first of these, when Tim Lafai tried an adventurous offload to Joe Burgess, which paid dividends to Wigan with their first try under the posts, by Liam Byrne.

To compound matters even further, a set restart on the fourth tackle of the next set gave their hosts sufficient extra possession to score a back-to-back pair, and we all know how demoralising those can be, particularly when both conversion kicks are successful.

Yet the Red Devils did mount a number of promising, but unsuccessful attacks on the home line.ย  The first of these came on twenty-minutes, when a long pass at the end of a flowing move from left to right found Rhys Williams in space, but excellent Wigan covering forced him into touch before he could cross the line.

A similar foray into the Wigan ten metre area, although helped by a rare Salford set-restart, was snuffed out by the Warriorsโ€™ defensive pressure, forcing a lost ball on the final tackle.ย  In fact, Salfordโ€™s only partially successful attack came on thirty-three minutes, when they forced a goal-line drop-out.

Wiganโ€™s determination to exploit each and every one of the Red Devilsโ€™ errors had been laid bare, on twenty-three minutes, when a Wigan set-restart was followed by a kickable penalty, which Hardaker confidently slotted over.ย  It might have been only two points, but it turned their lead into a three-score margin.

A concerted effort to curtail the errors, immediately after the interval, led to some of Salfordโ€™s most imaginative and entertaining ball-handling approach work, but Brierleyโ€™s fumbled attempt to take a crucial pass led to Leuluai regaining possession and sprinting away, down their right touchline.ย  With Hardaker and Field in support, it looked all the world like another try was on the way, but everyone had reckoned without the pace and determination of Joe Burges who hared back to snuff out the danger before Hardaker could get the final pass to Field.

This totally unselfish contribution to the Salford cause, from Burgess, was typical of the endeavour and commitment of all the Red Devils throughout the match.ย  It just proves rather fruitless, though, if you concede so many errors that they all contribute to your own downfall.

SALFORD SIGN YOUNG HOOKER AMIR BOUROUH

Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Wigan Warriors hooker Amir Bourouh on a two-year deal, with the option of a further year.

The 20-year-old made his Betfred Super League debut against Salford in 2019 for Wigan, going on to make 7 appearances for the Warriors before being loaned out to Betfred Championship side Halifax Panthers this year.

Bourouh, who will arrive at Salford at the end of the year, has impressed during his 11 appearances for Halifax, scoring two tries and picking up a Man of the Match award in the Panthers’ 17-16 victory over Widnes Vikings in July.

Speaking on signing for the club, Bourouh said: “Iโ€™m really excited to play for the club and in front of the Salford fans.

“After speaking with Richard (Marshall) and Ian (Blease) and seeing their ambition for the future, my decision was easily made.

“I want to challenge myself in the Super League and hopefully contribute to success in years to come.”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall, who was head coach at Halifax from 2015 to 2019, said: “Amir is a promising young hooker who Iโ€™ve been monitoring for a while. Heโ€™s shone during his loan spell at Halifax and after speaking with my connections there, they were very impressed with him and couldnโ€™t speak highly enough of his qualities.

“There was quite a bit of interest in Amir and we are certainly pleased he has chosen us to continue his development. He will work really well with Andy Ackers and I am looking forward to working with him over preseason and beyond.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “I was so excited when I watched Amir live this season, more so in a player that Iโ€™ve not seen for some time.

“He’s a young gun looking to progress at Super League level but we will look after him the โ€˜Salford Wayโ€™ and let him develop his true potential with us in the long term deal we have agreed.

I canโ€™t wait to start to develop something special at the club with Amir, heโ€™s got it all. We will give him the platform to get to the top.”

Bourouh is the latest addition to Marshall’s squad ahead of the 2022 season, with halfbacks Ata Hingano and Brodie Croft also recently signing for Salford.

Red Devils recruitment is brought to you by Morson.

CAPTAIN LEE MOSSOP FORCED TO RETIRE THROUGH MEDICAL ORDERS

Salford Red Devils can confirm that skipper Lee Mossop has been forced to retire with immediate effect following medical orders.

Prop Mossop joined Salford in 2017 from Wigan Warriors and became captain in 2018. Throughout his career, Mossop has had 11 reconstruction operations on his shoulders to try and prolong his career as much as possible.

Although we are sad to see our skipper go, we have, and will, fully support Moose in the next stages of his life as he prepares for a career outside of rugby league.

Walking into the The Salford Stadium off the back of the 2016 campaign that almost saw Salford relegated to the Betfred Championship, Mossop played a pivotal role in changing the fortunes at the club with the recent success of the last two years.

In 79 appearances for the Red Devils, the prop scored 7 tries – a few of those in big games.

Moose captained Salford to our first ever Grand Final in 2019, scoring a massive try against his former club Wigan at the DW Stadium in the Semi-Final.

The following season, the 32-year-old led Salford out at Wembley for their first Betfred Challenge Cup Final appearance in 51 years.

Speaking on his retirement and his time at the club, Mossop said: “Itโ€™s with great sadness that today I have to announce my retirement from rugby league. Itโ€™s been no secret that I have struggled with shoulder issues the majority of my career but after seeing the surgeon last week, he has told me there are no more surgeries he can offer to help prolong my career anymore and instead, it will be one final operation to give me a better quality of life with my wife and young children.

“Iโ€™d like to thank firstly my family and friends who have supported me through my career, the clubs and supporters I have represented and the players who I have shared a field with.

I joined this club in 2017, planning on only being here one year as I thought Iโ€™d be forced to retire then but with a lot of hard work from the coaches and physio staff here, Iโ€™ve managed to represent this club for almost 5 seasons and been lucky enough to make some unbelievable memories for a club that I now love!

“I was lucky enough to lead this team out in a Grand Final with my little girls, which will always be one of my main highlights of my career. The fans have been fantastic to play in front of and the most passionate I have met.

“On behalf of me and my family, I thank Salford Red Devils and everyone associated with it for 5 incredible years. We will always owe a debt of gratitude to you.”

Salford Red Devils head coach Richard Marshall said: “What a fantastic career Lee leaves behind. Any good leader or captain’s purpose is to leave the shirt, club and environment in a better place. Well Moose ticks all those boxes. Since my first week at the club he has been a pleasure to work with. His passion for the team is unwavering. He leads by example both on and off the field.

This has not been an easy decision and more so when itโ€™s taken out of your hands. He told me a few weeks ago that this was likely to end his career but said he would wear the shirt for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the time came when he couldnโ€™t carry on. The consultant was adamant he had to finish due to chronic shoulder problems that have plagued him for several years. Being the true professional he is, he tore up preseason and started well. However, the game is unforgiving and it was simply too much to keep backing up.

“Lee leaves behind a great career and memories of trophy wins, overseas success and international honours. He should be proud of all he has achieved and more so the person he is today which has been shaped by all his experiences. We wish himself Chloe, Eden , Nancy and Flynn all the success in the future and a wonderful restful retirement.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “This is really sad news for Lee and the club, but I would like to put on record how Lee has been the ultimate skipper and supreme professional for the club since his arrival in 2017. I spoke to Lee retiring early in the week and I was truly gutted for him. It was a very emotional dressing room after the game on Friday against Wigan when he told the rest of team that he was hanging his boots up for good immediately. To see professional rugby league players sharing that emotion with Lee will be something that we all remember forever .

“As a natural leader, Lee has epitomised our club’s desire and ambition to compete at the highest level, not forgetting Lee leading us to our first Grand Final appearance and our first Challenge Cup appearance for over 50 years. Lee knows he is making the right decision for himself and his family now so he can have a quality of life after rugby. I totally respect his decision and it will be a hard task to replace a leader like Moose.”

Find us on twitter

Wishing Chris Atkin a very Happy Birthday! ๐ŸŽ‰

๐Ÿ’ช #TogetherStronger | ๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ‘น

You can watch our second and final pre-season friendly against Wigan Warriors - in full - on RDTV now!

๐Ÿ’ช ...#TogetherStronger | ๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ‘น

Find us on Instagram

Sign up to the official newsletter