2023 Season Preview: Salford Red Devils


Paul Rowley’s Red Devils aim for a back-to-back Play-off finish in 2023, after a fantastic previous year.

Ian Watson lead the club to a Grand Final in 2019 after a 3rd place finish in the league. This was the club’s first Grand Final, and their highest ever league finish in the Super League era. When Watson left the club in 2020, their form plummeted, finishing 9th and 11th in the following two seasons.

It looked like they might not recover for a while, spending a long period of time searching for more success. However, Paul Rowley took over at the end of 2021, and in just one year, he has changed the way the club plays rugby league, united the fans and given them hope of a bright future.

Last season, on the back of some fantastic signings and a huge culture change, Rowley’s boys finished sixth in the league, sneaking into the play-offs for the first time since 2019: A baron spell that didn’t last anywhere near as long as many people predicted. Exciting signings like Brodie Croft who won last years Man of Steel award, have given them the foundations to build upon.

Rowley was asked what his ambitions were for the new campaign, to which he replied:

“Same as always: To overachieve. I wont pin down a specific position because then you set yourself up for failure.

“Realistically you’re looking at the middle four, and then to see where you can go from there. We will of course try and exceed where we sit in the ladder.”

Salford suffered a semi-final exit to St. Helens in the play-offs last year, although they were truly in the contest. Rowley believes that the disappointment of that defeat can spur his side on to better things this season:

“Coming so close last season, that was painful, so you would hope that it relights the fire and it makes them hungry to have another crack.

“I think one thing we can emulate from last year is the standards within the club, there’s a lot of good players and we have a great group.”

In 2023 the competition may be stiffer, but nevertheless, Salford will be still be aiming for the play-offs, and they could go one step further this time with the ability they have in their squad. However, injuries could plague their team as they have a relatively thin squad, in terms of quality first team players anyway. It’s fair to say that they might need a bit of fortune in that area to replicate their 2022.

2022 finishing position – 6th


Oliver Partington (Wigan Warriors), Andrew Dixon (Toulouse Olympique), Adam Sidlow (Leigh Leopards), Sam Stone (Leigh Leopards), Ben Hellewell (Featherstone Rovers), Ellis Longstaff (Warrington Wolves, loan)


Harvey Livett (Huddersfield Giants), Elijah Taylor (Featherstone Rovers), Sam Luckley (Hull KR), Greg Burke (Barrow), Morgan Escare (Carcassonne), Jack Wells (Barrow), Sitaleki Akauola (Toulouse)


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