Watson backs Salford’s American dream

Salford Red Devils coach Ian Watson has endorsed the idea of taking a Salford fixture to America, after confirming that talks are ongoing about the project.

The club has actively been trying to take a game Stateside for some time, having initially attempted to switch their Good Friday fixture against Catalans to New Jersey next month.

Both clubs had agreed in principle for the game to take place on the same weekend as England’s mid-season Test in Denver. But the idea collapsed following opposition from other Super League clubs and the RFL.

However, the club’s officials have not given up on the idea and are now trying to finalise plans for a game to be taken to America in the future, with Watson fully supportive of the idea.

“When we were asked about New York this year I agreed straight away,” Watson said.

“I just think we need to generate more interest and income and doing that would put us in a global market. You don’t know what you can generate from that.

“Hopefully it can get setup. It makes sense to showcase the sport in a country that loves contact sports. You still want your local teams to be doing well, but we have to promote the sport as well.

“I know the RFL knocked it back, but I think it would have been great to have a Super League game in America as well as the Denver Test at the same time. It would be us showboating our sport and trying to get new income and publicity. I thought it was a no-brainer, but some of the clubs had an issue with it and the RFL seemed to have too.”

Should the game go ahead, it would be the first Super League game to be played in America, after Wigan and Hull FC participated in the first Super League game ever played in Australia.