Why Joe Mellor has “a lot to give still” after Salford Red Devils switch

JOE MELLOR believes he has plenty still to offer after swapping Leigh for their Greater Manchester rivals Salford.

The 32-year-old has been released from the final season of his contract at the Leopards to sign a two-year deal with the Red Devils.

Previously of Wigan, Widnes and Toronto, Mellor helped Leigh to promotion from the Championship in 2022 and then a history-making 2023 season.

He was an ever-present from April onwards and, while rarely a starter, he was an effective presence off the bench and took on roles both in the halves, where he has spent most of his career, and increasingly at hooker, as Leigh won the Challenge Cup and reached the Super League play-offs.

Salford have lost key players in both of those positions in this off-season, with Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers both sold to Leeds, making Mellor a valuable addition.

Meanwhile Leigh have signed Matt Moylan and Ben McNamara at halfback, while losing Ben Reynolds to Featherstone.

“Last year was great. I achieved a lot and if we could do something like that this year at Salford, I think everybody would be happy,” said Mellor.

“I feel like I’ve got a lot to give still. I know I’m getting older but I feel I’m fit, fast and strong. Hopefully I can fit into this team nicely.”

Salford coach Paul Rowley said of his eighth signing for next season: “He is a very established player who has had a consistently positive influence on any team he represents. 

“He is highly competitive, he holds himself to high standards and will add greatly to an already excellent group of lads at Salford.

“Kurt and Kris (assistant coaches Haggerty and Inu) have both worked alongside Joe before and have fully re-enforced all the above qualities.”

The Red Devils look likely to split with Joe Burgess – but Leeds or Castleford are unlikely destinations.

It’s claimed the ex-England winger has been made available by the Red Devils after an internal bust-up.

The former Wigan player has been with Salford since the 2021 season and turned out 25 times this year, scoring four tries.

Contracted until 2025, his departure would be another setback, after the club recently released fellow winger Ken Sio on compassionate grounds.