IF there was one Super League side that people perhaps underestimated in 2022 then it is the Salford Red Devils.
Finishing inside the play-offs, Salford pushed St Helens all the way in the semi-final play-offs before succumbing to the Merseyside club’s superiority.
However, with one quota space still left to be filled at Salford, who might they bring in to improve on their 2022 showing?
After being released by the Catalans Dragons by mutual consent last week, Dylan Napa is now looking for a new club. Despite being let down by his own ill-discipline last season, the former Sydney Roosters enforcer is still a force to be reckoned with. Though the Red Devils have brought in Sam Stone and Adam Sidlow from the Leigh Leopards, they have still lost Sam Luckley, Greg Burke, Jack Wells, Sitaleki Akauola and Elijah Taylor from their pack. Napa certainly has a point to prove following a disappointing first season in Super League and Paul Rowley could help him find that spark again.
Could Salford take advantage of the war over the salary cap and minimum wage in the NRL to bring in Marty Taupau? After leaving the Manly Sea Eagles at the end of 2022, the Samoan international is now a free agent. However, despite being subject to offers from a number of NRL sides, clubs are not signing on the dotted line due to potential fears over salary cap restrictions. That has left Taupau eager to secure his future which could land him in the path of Super League and Salford who are crying out for a powerhouse enforcer in the middle of the pack.
It would be interesting to see Brad Takairangi join Salford following his lengthy spell with Hull KR – but it isn’t out of the question. The utility man can play anywhere along the backline as well as in the back-row which makes him the perfect player to have around the place. Despite suffering with injury towards the back end of 2022 as well as enduring an off-field issue at the beginning of the year, the Cook Islands international has stated his determination to put things right in 2023. And with Paul Rowley’s man-management up there with the best in the country, Takairangi could excel at the AJ Bell Stadium.