Watson heaps praise on Evalds following Salford triumph

Ian Watson believes Niall Evalds could become a “top class fullback” after watching his stunning performance in Salford’s win over Huddersfield.

Evalds scored three tries and set another up as the Red Devils went to the top of Super League with a 34-14 win.

Watson had compared Evalds to the legendary Darren Lockyer in the off-season, and he went towards justifying that label with an outstanding display.

“I thought Niall was really good out of the back, Watson said.

“I think he’s improved through playing with Jackson and Rob. I think he’s developing into a top class fullback, I think he’ll be one to watch this year.”

On the performance, he added: “It’s a great start for us. We’ve looked a lot at ourselves coming into this week rather than Huddersfield. We wanted to build what we’ve been working on and there were large parts we were really pleased with to be far.

“Having a spine to work with for the full pre-season has been a big plus for us. They all wanted to be back in the first day of pre-season and we made that happen. We’re really happy with where we are now but that we’ve also got the potential to get better.

“As starts go it was real good. Probably a big plus and one to mention is Lee Mossop, he played 60 minutes straight as a front-rower and could probably have gone longer. I don’t think there’s many in the game who could do that.”

One negative for the Red Devils was an injury to Junior Sa’u, who is likely to miss next week’s game with a rib problem.