Upon hearing that Salford assistant coach Ian Watson is set to come out of retirement and line-up for the Red Devils against Hull FC on Friday you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were being stitched up.
However, the unprecedented injury crisis which has struck the Salford squad has forced the club to put in a request to the RFL for the 38 year-old to play in his first Super League game since 2002.
Salford have potentially 12 players out injured for Friday’s clash as well as four absentees through suspension. Emergency loan signings and players from the academy are being asked to step up to the plate and provide cover for the depleted Red Devils side.
A request from the club to Hull FC to postpone Friday’s match was declined by the Humberside club and the game will go ahead as planned.
Hull sit 11th in the table and will see the fixture as the perfect opportunity to pick up two points in their fight for Super League survival. However, the black and whites must not let complacency set in, as Salford were only beaten by two points on Sunday against Castleford in a game in which they had 12 players missing as well as Adrian Morley, Liam Hood and Wayne Godwin all going off injured throughout the match.
Salford’s injury crisis has come at the worst possible time with the club having held down 4th place in the league for two weeks and looking to be heading in the right direction to fulfil the ambitions of owner Marwan Koukash.
The Red Devils must remain positive and whatever side Iestyn Harris is able to name must go out and show Hull that they will not be easily beaten.
Friday’s game provides the perfect opportunity for some of the youngsters coming through the academy to show their ability and put forward their case to be given more opportunities in the first team in the future.
Harris will be hoping his depleted team make it through Friday’s game unscathed and that the result will not be too damning.