Salford reach dual-registration agreement with Melbourne Storm

 

Ambitious Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash has negotiated a dual-registration agreement with NRL champions Melbourne Storm.

It gives the Reds first refusal on signing any member of the Storm squad, which includes Australian international superstars Billy Slater and Cameron Smith, as well as England‘s Gareth Widdop.

The agreement also makes Storm players available to play for the City Reds during the Super League season when they are not required by the Storm, and also during the bye weeks afforded to them by the nature of the NRL fixture list.

It will also enable the Reds to send their youngsters Down Under to progress their development, and the clubs will also share knowledge in sports science and commercial areas.

A source close to the club said: “The Doctor wants to bring the best players in the world to Salford, and this is the first step in doing that. The close link-up with Melbourne will not only provide quality players for the Reds in the short term, but also facilitates the development of Salford’s own youngsters. Not only that, but the club is hoping it will put them on the map in the NRL, and make a move to Greater Manchester an attractive proposition for the NRL‘s star men.”

The Storm’s bye weeks fall on the weekend’s of June 1st and July 20th, when Salford are due to play Warrington (A) and Catalan (H). It is not yet known how many players the Australian side will make available to the Reds for these two games.

Melbourne have 19 players off contract at the end of the year, including Widdop, ex-Wigan half-back Brett Finch and New South Wales Origin prop Jason Ryles.