Why Ellis Longstaff expects Salford Red Devils spell to prove fruitful

SALFORD RED DEVILS forward Ellis Longstaff is happy to put in the hard miles, never mind yards, to help Paul Rowley’s side build on last season’s run to the play-off semi-finals.

The Yorkshire-based backrower will spend this season with the Red Devils on loan from Warrington, where he is in the final year of his contract and looks set to leave at the end of it.

While he might have slipped out of Wolves coach Daryl Powell’s plans, the 20-year-old still enjoyed an encouraging 2022 campaign, catching the eye in ten appearances on loan to Hull FC before playing for England Knights in their October wins over France B in Bordeaux and Scotland in Edinburgh.

Other Super League clubs showed an interest in taking him, but Longstaff, who comes from Ackworth, between Wakefield and Doncaster, and played his junior rugby for Kippax Welfare, to the east of Leeds, was happy to sign up for Salford, even if it means a daily commute.

“I was at Wigan before I joined Warrington, so I’m used to travelling, and you could say the M62 is my friend, although I was going in the other direction when I was at Hull,” he quipped.

“When I realised I wasn’t really in the picture at Warrington and was set to go out on loan, I had a few things to weigh up, and there were a few factors that attracted me to Salford, even if it is further away for me than some other clubs.

“I think they have an outstanding coach in Paul Rowley, and I think the way he has got them playing will suit my style.

“Hopefully I can develop under Paul and I can play a part in helping the team build on what was achieved last season.

“I’ve settled in well and I’m excited about what’s coming.”

Salford kick off their campaign at Leigh in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday, having played pre-season games at home to Swinton (won 26-22 with Longstaff scoring a try) and Wigan (lost 32-4 in Sam Powell’s testimonial).