Sam Luckley is one of the Super League rookies to watch in 2021.
Luckley has yet to make his Super League debut, and at the age of 25, he is the oldest players to be considered a rookie.
He has an interesting story to tell.
A native of Newcastle, he played for the northeast junior club the Wallsend Eagles from the age of 15. In 2015 he spent a year with Huddersfield Giants’ Academy squad and the following year returned to Newcastle to study at Northumbria University and play with Newcastle Thunder.
Last year loose-forward Luckley agreed a deal with new Canadian club Ottawa Aces to play for them in League 1 in 2021, but when that club’s entry to the competition was deferred, he agreed a deal to join the Red Devils, for whom he will wear squad number 27 in 2021.
“Coming to Salford, at the start I found training quite tough because my last game had been last March and since then I had been doing my own training, but I’ve acclimatised now,” says Luckley.
“For me, squad number 27 is a good number giving me a chance to show what I can do. I never expected to come in and be in the starting side. I might get a chance to be on the bench in one of the early games and I’ll try to progress from there.
“My strengths include the way I carry the ball combined with a good offload and passing skills, combined with a lot of energy.
“My weakness is my lack of experience at the top level.
“I’m the only one in the Salford squad who hasn’t played Super League
“But I will compensate for that with my eagerness and keenness to learn.”
If Luckley does break through into the Salford squad, he hopes he will have achieved his objective by the first weekend in September, when the Magic Weekend returns to St James’ Park.
“My mam is the biggest Newcastle United fan you will ever meet and she would love it if I played there. She already has her tickets for the Magic Weekend,” says Luckley.
“St James Park would be a great objective, but I would hate to just be in the squad just for the sake of it. I want to get there on merit.
“Hopefully by September I will have worked my way into the squad.”
And later in the year Luckley will be hoping to return to Newcastle again to represent Scotland in the World Cup, when they play two matches at Kingston Park. Luckley was born in Kirkcaldy. He has already played four times for his country since 2018 and he hopes to feature again in this year’s tournament.
“I’m trying not to think about the World Cup too much, it’s first things first with Salford,” says Luckley.
“Obviously I hope to play for Scotland again, but there are some high quality players available and it will be a tough gig to get into.”
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