KALLUM WATKINS’ focus will be on leading through his actions after being appointed as Salford Red Devils’ new captain.
Salford let previous skipper Elijah Taylor depart for Featherstone Rovers at the end of last season, following a sensational run to the play-off semi-finals.
Their form in the second half of 2022 was helped immensely by the return of Watkins from a serious knee injury, the former Leeds Rhinos man excelling in the back row after playing most of his career at centre.
Watkins was so effective that he earned a recall to the England squad, five years and countless injuries after his previous call-up, and he was a regular at the World Cup.
Red Devils head coach Paul Rowley has also shown his appreciation by giving Watkins, who began his junior career at Salford before going onto stardom at Leeds, the team captaincy for the 2023 season.
“It’s a massive honour and I’m truly grateful to the coaching staff, the team and the club for giving me this opportunity to be captain,” said 31-year-old Watkins.
“For me, it’s just about being myself. I’ve got the opportunity to lead the team and now I’ve got to lead by my actions and get the team where they need to be.”
Rowley said that Watkins was “quite simply everything you would want from a leader”.
He added: “He drives standards and is held in the utmost respect by his team-mates and all our staff.
“It was a privilege to inform Kal and I’m looking forward to seeing him lead out the team.”
Two other standouts in Salford’s 2022 campaign, halfbacks Marc Sneyd and Brodie Croft, will remain as vice-captains this year.
Sneyd earned a first England call-up for the World Cup following an outstanding start to his second spell at Salford, while Australian Croft won the Man of Steel award in his first year in Super League.
“Our vice-captains will remain the same, as both were fantastic on and off the field last year – and if it’s not broken, then I won’t try to fix it,” added Rowley.