Deon Cross on working under Paul Rowley and learning from Ken Sio

Josh McAllister
Deon Cross

Photo courtesy of Steve McCormick

Deon Cross is hoping to impress head coach Paul Rowley enough to be in for the chance to make his official debut in round one against Castleford. 

The winger made the switch to the AJ Bell Stadium from Widnes for 2022 on a one-year deal.

Cross, 25, made an instant impact at the Red Devils scoring on his first appearance against Swinton in a pre-season friendly, making his unofficial debut in the centres.

With Kallum Watkins and Dan Sarginson sidelined due to injury and suspension respectively, Cross has taken his chance in the starting line-up with both hands.

He was named again in the centres in the club’s pre-season victory over Halifax, and the utility is hoping he can impress enough for a first round call-up. 

Salford: Paul Rowley on who has impressed during pre-season

Deon Cross on working under Paul Rowley

“Paul has given me a lot of confidence,” Cross told Love Rugby League.

“He’s played me at centre which just shows that he’s got that confidence that he can play me at centre and also on the wing. 

“Paul’s been great for me over the last 12 weeks of pre-season. He’s really got the best out of me. 

“I’ve still got a lot to learn. I’m nowhere near my best yet. I’m looking forward to seeing how we’ll go this season.

“I think I’m in the shop window now I’m playing. I’m just making sure that I’m in that picture in the back of Paul’s mind for that starting team round one.”

Red Devils: Salford 2022 squad numbers

Deon Cross road to full-time

Cross has had a rollercoaster of a ride to full-time.

He was released by St Helens scholarship programme at under-16s and returned to the amateur game with Blackbrook. He would go on to feature for Rochdale Hornets thanks to then-Blackbrook coach Anthony Walker, making his debut against Warrington.

Fast forward, and now Cross says he’s enjoying learning under the likes of Ken Sio, Joe Burgess and Kallum Watkins at Salford.

“I think a big one for me was Kenny Sio,” Cross said when asked about learning from his team-mates.

“He was Super League’s top try scorer last year. He’s been brilliant.

“Ken has sort of been like a mentor to me with just tips at training. He’s really helped me massively and sort of took me under his wing. I’m learning a lot from him.

“The likes of Joe Burgess who is a great winger, he’s won Grand Finals. Then there’s some world class centres in Kallum Watkins and Dan Sarginson.”

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