Ackers and Burgess injury update as Salford boss talks recruitment challenges

Drew Darbyshire
Paul Rowley Salford Red Devils SWix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Salford coach Paul Rowley has provided an injury update on key duo Andy Ackers and Joe Burgess ahead of Saturday’s short trip to Leigh.

Hooker Ackers and winger Burgess might miss this weekend’s derby with Leigh in Rivals Round, but they won’t be sidelined for long.

On Ackers, Rowley said: “He’s getting close. I think he’ll probably just miss (this week).”

Rowley said of Burgess: “I don’t think its too bad, its just muscular so I’m hoping if he’s not right for Leigh, then Castleford the week after he’ll be there or thereabouts.

“I think there’s a lot of walking wounded at the minute. For such an early part of the season, there’s a lot of injections being thrown about and probably doing too much too soon but we’re digging in and having a crack.”

Paul Rowley on Salford recruitment challenges

Earlier this week, forward Ryan Lannon left the club to join Championship side Halifax on a permanent deal for the remainder of the season.

But despite the departure of Lannon, Rowley says it is unlikely that they will bring in any reinforcements for the time being.

He said: “Not yet. We might have to free another player up before that can happen so the answer is no I guess.

“There’s probably only back-row where we are well covered really. We are short in the middles, we’re short in the outside backs but there’s bodies coming back.

“We’re just short of fit troops to be honest. It’s not about the numbers so much sometimes, it’s about having the mileage in the legs of the players.

“There’s no point bringing anyone in who can’t get in the team. We need people who add to not only the competition, but also the quality of the squad.

“It’ll have to be other Super League proven players at this point but we scour the other leagues including French (Elite) for talent. We’re all over the Championship, there’s not a day that goes by that we aren’t clipping Championship players. It’s a constant (cycle) that myself and the coaches undertake.”

Loanee knocking on the door

England Knights international Ellis Longstaff joined the Red Devils on a season-long loan in the off-season from Warrington.

Longstaff has played two games for Salford so far and is close to getting more game time under his belt.

Rowley said: “He’s been going really good in training Ellis. It is just kind of unfortunate for him that we’re trying to cover and spin a lot of plates.

“Quite often our substitutes we’ve got minutes in mind, so if you’re looking at Benny Hellewell and Danny Addy and Andrew Dixon, there’s a lot of players coming back in who need to play rugby and get minutes under their belt but we are also aware that they can’t do long minutes because of where they are at and the lack of pre-season etc. We are being dictated to by managing peoples minutes and getting fit for games.

“In terms of Ellis, he is really close. It is kind of horses for courses at the minute so he’s been good in training, so he’ll get his chance.”

READ NEXT: BBC select mouth-watering Challenge Cup tie for live coverage