Tim Lafai available for big Salford Red Devils clash following new contract

Star centre Tim Lafai will be available to help try to get Salford Red Devils’ Super League campaign back on track at home to Wakefield Trinity on Sunday despite being hit with a one-match ban.

The 31-year-old received the suspension for other contrary behaviour during the 30-12 home loss to Wigan, the Red Devils’ second defeat in a row after going down 43-16 at Hull KR.

But like fellow Samoa international Mason Lino, the Wakefield halfback banned for a high tackle during the 30-24 home win over Warrington, Lafai had been named in the original Combined Nations All Stars squad for the clash with England, which took place at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium on Saturday.

That means both will be available for AJ Bell Stadium showdown when, like Trinity, Salford will be seeking a sixth win in 16 league matches this year.

Coach Paul Rowley, who before the Hull KR game had overseen home victories over Leeds and Castleford, has been delighted with the form of former NRL player Lafai, who has made 13 appearances for Samoa, including at the last two World Cups.

He played for Canterbury Bulldogs in two spells, with a five-season stint at St George Illawarra Dragons in between, before in December joining Salford on a one-year contract, which included an option to extend for a further twelve months, which the club recently took up.

Rowley said: “Myself, the staff and all the players really appreciate Tim as both a player and a person.

“He’s a fantastic lad who has really bought into the culture we are establishing here and I’m sure he will play a big part in the club’s growth and progression moving forward.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added: “Tim has been a tremendous addition and one of our stand-out players every week.

“Taking the option up to have him with us for another year was an easy decision and hopefully we can do work on something more long-term.”

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