St Helens head coach Nathan Brown has described Salford Red Devils owner Dr Marwan Koukash as a breath of fresh air who is ‘great for the game’.
Speaking ahead of the Saints’ visit to the AJ Bell stadium tomorrow night, the Australian said the fixture will be completely different to last year’s.
“I think what’s happened there has been great for the game,” he said.
“This game in particular in the past could have been seen as a standard St Helens win I suppose.
“It’s a good Rugby League story which is good for the game and the competition.
“Wigan did well against the Roosters but, if they played more games against sides spending the cap, then the comp would be better and they probably would have been more prepared. There’s certainly no negative to Salford.”
Salford recruited two players from St Helens in summer – Tony Puletua and Francis Meli. Brown holds no hard feelings.
“It will be good to see Tony Puletua and Francis Meli,” he said.
“They have no points to prove to us though. They were more than welcome to stay at the club but their budget is what it is and we have younger players coming through.
“Franny and TP served the club well and Franny in particular has left a legacy with Josh Jones, Mark Percival, Tommy Makinson and Adam Swift.”
Salford coach Brian Noble, who is looking to steer Salford to the top of the table for the first time in their history (a win against Saints would do that), said: “We’re looking forward to it.
“It’s got the strap line, hasn’t it, the Devil against the Saint? We’re still very new but the tough couple of games we’ve had will stand us in really good stead.
“In many people’s opinions, this is our first real test and I probably don’t disagree, with no disrespect to Wakefield and London. We’ve a heck of a lot improvement in us.
“You won’t really get a true indication of where you’re at until round 11 or 12 but we’re working feverishly hard to make sure we’re up to speed quicker than then.”