Salford fullback Niall Evalds is back in training as head coach Ian Watson admits he could be facing a major selection headache ahead of the Challenge Cup Final.
Evalds, the club’s leading scorer during the Super League era, has missed the last month of action with a calf injury but Watson confirmed he was back in training.
His availability for Wembley next week remains touch and go but if he were to be available it would leave the Salford chief with a selection dilemma.
Dan Sarginson has moved to fullback in Evalds’ absence while the centre position left void by Sarginson has been taken by England international Kallum Watkins.
The pair, as well as other centre Kris Welham, have performed well and played a key role in the semi-final victory over Warrington.
It leaves Watson contemplating his options, admitting it was a good problem to have.
“Niall was out on the training field yesterday and running as well,” Watson revealed.
“I had a quick joke with him saying ‘there must be a Challenge Cup final coming.’
“He’s really happy with where he’s at. We don’t know whether it will be too soon or not, we’ll see where he gets to but it would be a great problem to have if Niall gets back for it and is fit, that’s what coaches want, they want headaches, it would be really tough on some of them to move him in but he is our number one fullback.
“It would cause me a severe headache going forward but they’re the sort you want to have.”
Evalds is moving to Castleford next season but Watson says that won’t have a bearing on his decision.
“If you get caught up in that you’re thinking about quite a few players, like Gil Dudson going to Catalans next year.
They’re our players doing their best for the team and the club. Niall has not been any different. It probably would have been great for Niall to leave playing in a Challenge Cup Final, whether he gets that opportunity or not we don’t know, but it would be great for him as he’s given a lot to the club over the years.
“He’s a great bloke, he deserves all the success he gets.”
Halifax-born Evalds has scored an impressive 87 tries in 129 Super League appearances for the Red Devils and was called up to the England Knights squad off the back of his impressive performances last season.