New Salford signing could miss start of season

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  • Paul Rowley
    English rugby league footballer and coach

Salford are set to start their new campaign without new signing Tim Lafai.

The Super League side begin their pre-season campaign at home to Swinton this Saturday at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Salford head coach Paul Rowley has confirmed that several new faces will make their first appearance for Salford against the Lions, but Lafai isn’t one of them.

New signings Brodie Croft, Ryan Brierley, Sita Akauola, King Vuniyayawa, Deon Cross and Shane Wright will all play on Saturday but Lafai is still in Australia awaiting the arrival of his visa.

Lafai also looks certain to miss the opening Super League game against Castleford on February 11.

Kallum Watkins and Harvey Livett, who are still recovering from surgery, will also miss the start of the new campaign. Dan Sarginson also still has a three-match suspension to serve.

Impressed: Lee Radford excited by ‘freakishly athletic’ new signing

Rowley determined not to cancel a match in 2022

As clubs brace themselves for another Covid-interrupted season, Rowley is also determined that his club will not cancel a Super League match in 2022.

Instead of using points percentage to determine league positions, the Rugby Football League is proposing clubs who cannot raise a team forfeit matches and will be deemed to have lost the fixture by a 48-0 score.

With no academy or scholarship to fall back on, 46-year-old Rowley accepts his squad depth will be tested in the new season. But insists the Red Devils will fulfil all their commitments.

“You are kind of crossing fingers it (Covid) doesn’t hurt you,” he said.

“But we said we’d never cancel a training session. So we’ll certainly never cancel a match – we would never not step onto the arena and play.

“If I have to pull the boots on myself, I would do that. Me, Danny (Orr) and Haggy (Kurt Haggerty) would give you a good five minutes.”

READ MORE: Paul Rowley on who has impressed during pre-season and new half-back partnership

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