Paul Rowley glad to see Salford Red Devils ‘walk proud and tall’ after great year

Paul Rowley believes he has fulfilled one of his ambitions for the year by making Salford Red Devils “walk proud”.

With budgets and crowds among the lowest in the whole of Super League, Salford are indisputably one of the financial minnows of the competition.

But they defied that to secure a top-six finish before reaching the semi-finals of the Super League play-offs, where they fell to St Helens.

It was a second season of huge overachievement in four years, following their run to the Grand Final in 2019, while they also reached the Challenge Cup Final in 2020.

And Rowley believes the Red Devils can now “stop selling ourselves short”, completing a mission stated when he took on the head coach role last November, after replacing Richard Marshall on the back of an eleventh-placed finish.

“That was our aim as a staff; it’s one of the things we spoke about really early on and I’ve spoken about since being at this club,” he said.

“To stop selling ourselves short, to make sure we walk proud and tall and back ourselves. We have a group that do that. 

“And we (as coaches) can do that; we’re not going to creep around anywhere. As a group, we’ve achieved that if nothing else. 

“That’s confidence, that’s character. But like anything else in sport, you’ve got to do it all again now.” 

Meanwhile Salford have confirmed the signing of Oliver Partington from Wigan Warriors on a two-year deal.

The 24-year-old prop or loose forward has made 92 appearances for Wigan since debuting in 2018, playing in their 2020 Super League Grand Final defeat.

“I’m over the moon to have signed for Salford,” said Partington, who was capped by England Knights three years ago.

“After speaking to (head coach) Paul Rowley, I knew it was the right place for me. I can’t wait to get going with the lads and I’m looking forward to meeting the fans.”

Fellow forwards Sam Luckley, Greg Burke and Jack Wells have all left the Red Devils, with Luckley joining Hull KR while Burke and Wells will head for Barrow Raiders.

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.