Shane Wright has promised to get stuck in and do the dirty work for Salford Red Devils – and he believes fellow new signing Tim Lafai will be a hit at the club.
Backrower Wright signed a two-year deal with Salford in October, leaving behind North Queensland Cowboys to move to England.
“I’m just a working-class player I guess,” Wright told League Express. “I pride myself on working hard and just doing the little things that maybe not everyone wants to do sometimes.
“As long as I’m doing those things well, I’m happy and I’m sure that’ll benefit the team as well.”
The 25-year-old joins a Red Devils side that reached the Grand Final in 2019 and Challenge Cup Final in 2020 but endured a disappointing campaign last term to finish eleventh.
“A few years ago, the team made the Grand Final so that’s what we’re wanting to do here, that’s one of my goals, to try and contribute to getting this team back to where it belongs,” said Wright.
“If you’re not striving to do that, I don’t know why you’re here. Whichever way, I can help contribute to us getting some silverware and that’s what I want to do.”
Wright is just starting to settle into his new life in England. After making the move a little over a fortnight ago, he completed his first full week of training last week and is living with Salford team-mate Sam Luckley in Manchester.
“Everyone has been really welcoming, from the coaches through to the staff and players,” he said.
“I’m within walking distance of the city centre, so any day off I’ve just been in there, having a look at the markets and stuff like that. There’s a lot going on, so it’s been exciting.”
Wright admits that it was difficult to be told he was no longer wanted by the Cowboys. But he was moved by the belief shown in him by Salford.
“I grew up in North Queensland in Australia, so it was my home team,” he said. “It was a dream just to play one game for them, but to be in the system for five years was unreal.
“Obviously I was striving to continue being there, but results weren’t going as they wanted and they had a couple of young players coming through. That’s just how Rugby League works at times and I understand that.
“I was wanting to continue playing full-time, whether in Australia or over here in the UK.
“Salford were actually the first club to approach my management, so that sat well with me, just giving me the belief that I was wanted.”
Following Wright and Brodie Croft, the Red Devils made a third addition of the off-season from Down Under with the signing last week of centre Lafai on a one-year deal.
The Samoan international has almost a decade of experience in the NRL with Canterbury Bulldogs and St George Illawarra Dragons. He fills a gap left by injuries to Harvey Livett and Kallum Watkins, which will see both players miss the start of the season.
Wright has seen plenty of Lafai in Australia and says: “He’s a big unit for an outside back, which is handy and he’s got some good skill and pace.
“He’ll be a handy asset and he’ll give the other outside backs here some competition, which is only healthy. He’s a really great addition for the club.”
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