Ian Watson admits he may have to change coronavirus-hit Salford’s Challenge Cup final team

Salford coach Ian Watson admits he will most likely be forced to change his Challenge Cup final team after the club was hit by coronavirus.

The Red Devils have received positive Covid-19 tests for two players and were forced to stand down two others after their results proved inconclusive, just four days out from their Wembley showdown with Leeds.

Salford also say they had eight players ruled out through injury but went ahead with Tuesday’s Super League fixture against Hull KR at Warrington “in order to preserve the integrity of the competition”.

READ: Hull KR 24-22 Salford: Jamie Ellis penalty goal sees Robins beat Red Devils

Hull KR won 24-22 thanks to a last-minute penalty from Jamie Ellis but they too had their share of adversity and coach Tony Smith says the game came close to being called off after tests from two of their players proved inconclusive.

Rovers were down to 15 players at one stage before enough were given the go-ahead and the kick-off was put back by an hour while the matter was resolved.

Salford cancelled training sessions on both Sunday and Monday in an effort to prevent any further spread and Watson says he is unlikely to organise any contact training before Saturday’s final.

Watson gave a debut to hooker Connor Aspey and fielded just six members of his likely Wembley line-up, with Krisnan Inu a deliberately unused substitute.

“Kris wasn’t supposed to be on the bench and neither was Luke Yates,” Watson said. “They both put their hands up to play. We had a bit of a session this morning and a couple got injured.

“We’ve had a lot of disruption. We’ve not been able to train since the Huddersfield game last Thursday and this is supposed to be one of the best weeks of their careers.

“But no-one has complained. We’ve had to have two days at home and we thought the game was going to end up having to be cancelled but we rolled it well and I can’t speak highly enough of the boys at the moment.

“It may affect the Challenge Cup final team now but I’m really confident, whatever team we put out, we are going there to win.”

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