After a sensational 2019 campaign that saw the club reach the Super League Grand Final, Salford Red Devils may need to lower their expectations this season. However, achieving a top-five finish is well within the reach of Ian Watson’s side.
Despite losing a number of key players to their rivals in the off season, Salford have recruited well ahead of the 2020 campaign. The signing of England international Dan Sarginson, twice a Grand Final winner with Wigan Warriors, is arguably their best addition to the squad and gives Ian Watson plenty of options. Able to operate at centre, on the wing or even at fullback, Sarginson’s experience and quality make his signing a superb piece of business and will be one of Salford’s key players this coming campaign.
ARRIVALS: Chris Atkin, Kevin Brown, James Greenwood, Sebastine Ikahihifo, Connor Jones, Elliot Kear, Ryan Lannon, Tui Lolohea, Jack Ormondroyd, Pauli Pauli, Dan Sarginson, Rhys Williams, Luke Yates.
While the loss of both Josh Jones and Jake Bibby will hurt Salford’s chances of achieving a top-five finish this season, it’s the departure of Man of Steel winner Jackson Hastings that’s undoubtedly their biggest void to fill. The Australian was nothing short of sensational for the Red Devils last term, racking up a mammoth 36 try assists as he steered the club to its first ever Grand Final appearance, having started the season at odds of 150-1 to win the competition.
DEPARTURES: Jake Bibby, George Griffin, Jackson Hastings, Greg Johnson, Josh Jones, Robert Lui, Daniel Murray, Derrell Olpherts, Logan Tomkins, Josh Wood.
1. Niall Evalds, 2. Ed Chamberlain, 3. Kris Welham, 4. Dan Sarginson, 5. Krisnan Inu, 6. Tui Lolohea, 7. Kevin Brown, 8. Lee Mossop, 9. Joey Lussick, 10. Gil Dudson, 11. Ryan Lannon, 12. Pauli Pauli, 13. Tyrone McCarthy, 14. Sebastine Ikahihifo, 15. Adam Walker, 16. Greg Burke, 17. Luke Yates, 18. Chris Atkin, 19. Mark Flanagan, 20. Josh Johnson, 21. James Greenwood, 22. Rhys Williams, 23. Ken Sio, 24. Elliot Kear, 25. Connor Jones, 26. Jack Ormondroyd.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Backing up last season’s surprise Grand Final appearance with another top-five finish would be a fantastic achievement for Ian Watson’s side. Whilst their opening game is a nasty looking trip to St Helens, they then have four home games on the bounce and will be looking to win at least three of those four matches against Toronto Wolfpack, Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Trinity respectively.
Playing Saints in the opening game of the season is the perfect time to play the Champions, given they are under new management in Kristian Woolf, and with four winnable fixtures after that, Salford could be flying high in the opening rounds of the season and will need to use that momentum if they to challenge at the top end of the table for the second season running.
Leading Tryscorer: Niall Evalds
Leading Pointscorer: Krisnan Inu
Player of 2020: Niall Evalds