Salford Red Devils boss Paul Rowley on injuries, finances, signings and Wigan Warriors clash for Sam Powell’s testimonial

SALFORD RED DEVILS head coach Paul Rowley is gearing up for his second year in charge of the club after taking the reins ahead of the 2022 Super League season.

That season couldn’t really have gone much better for Rowley and his men, with Salford reaching the semi-finals of the Super League play-offs before bowing out to eventual champions St Helens.

Ahead of Sam Powell’s testimonial fixture on Sunday – when Salford play the Wigan Warriors – Rowley admitted that injuries are a problem for his side.

Kallum Watkins is expected to miss the start of the season whilst Joe Burgess was one of those to miss out against Swinton Lions last weekend.

“We’ve got a quite few injuries to be honest, I’ve got an appointment at 2pm so I’m not going to start listing them so you will have to take my word for it! Everyone who is fit will play at Wigan,” Rowley admitted.

“They will do more minutes against better opposition this week. It’s difficult at the best of times going to Wigan so it’ll be a good benchmark. It’s about preparing us for the rigours of the season ahead.

“It doesn’t matter who they play, they have that culture and we want to put our best foot forward for Sam Powell. He’s held in high respect from our club looking in. We want to pay respect to Sam’s career.

“We’re not well resourced compared to Wigan, where it affects us is the review of the session. They can pick out the detail in attack and defence in training whereas these games allow us to do that. It’s the true value in making sure we learn from these experiences.

“Everyone who is fit will be playing. That will be 20 or 21 players, so we won’t be making a thousand substitutes. It will hit us hard the pace of the game at times, so we need to endure those tough periods.”

Salford are one of only two clubs to still have spaces left on the quota, but Rowley has revealed that no more signings will be coming through the doors at the AJ Bell Stadium.

“We’ve not got the finances to do that so unfortunately not,” Rowley explained.

The Salford boss was, however, happy with new signing Oliver Partington and his role alongside Alex Gerrard in the pack.

“They play a similar role, they are both footballers. It’s nice to have players who can run and pass the ball.

“We’ve got some good players in our squad.

Ahead of the new season, Rowley has 17 players in mind for Salford’s opening game against the Leigh Leopards, though injuries are likely to force his hand.

“I think it’ll be injuries dictate a lot of that, we are not blessed with choice, but we will see.

“I’ve got who I would like to pick in my head but that won’t happen.”