Sam Stone on Leigh exit, his move to Salford & representing Malta

Drew Darbyshire
Sam Stone. News Images

Photo: Simon Whitehead/News Images

Sam Stone has opened up on why he left Leigh to join Salford in the off-season and the next chapter of his career with the Red Devils.

The 25-year-old forward has linked up with Salford on a two-year deal after helping Leigh win promotion to Super League last season.

Stone, who arrived at Leigh towards the back end of the 2021 campaign, played 33 games for the Leopards in their promotion-winning season in 2022.

The Malta international reflects on his time with Leigh fondly, and is excited for what’s next with his new club Salford.

“It was a bit of a mix around with Leigh and the quota spots so there was a bit of uncertainty there,” Stone told Love Rugby League.

“Salford were keen to have me here and I was keen to be part of this successful team with a successful culture.

“At the end of the day I was just happy to be moving to another successful team. We’ve got them (Leigh) in round one as well so it should be exciting.”

Flashy Red Devils

Stone, who lives with Salford team-mate Shane Wright, says he can’t wait to be involved with his side’s expansive brand of rugby.

“I really enjoyed how Salford finished the year last year,” Stone sad.

“Watching them play, I like the style of footy we’re producing so I’m excited to be part of that and I think we are in the right place to be successful this year.

“The style of rugby we play is really attacking and exciting so I’m excited to be part of that. It’s just different to every other team I’ve played under so it’s nice and fresh for me and we can attack from anywhere so it’s been enjoyable.

“The first two months of the year is tough with the weather and you have to play a different brand of footy but I think we’re ready for it with the way we’ve trained through Christmas and even the last couple of weeks so we’re ready to go.”

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Sam Stone on representing Malta

Stone, the son of former Huddersfield coach Rick Stone, was born and raised in Australia and is of Maltese heritage through his grandmother.

The Gold Coast-born forward made his international debut for Malta in 2018, playing alongside his older brother Ben, who is now captain.

“My mum’s mum was born in Malta so I’m a quarter Maltese,” Stone told Love Rugby League.

“My older brother plays a lot for them, he actually captains them at the moment. It was an opportunity to go and play with my brother who I haven’t played with in a long time because he’s a couple of years older than me. I didn’t really see another opportunity to play with him moving forward so I thought I would take the opportunity to play with him and we won the Emerging Nations competition that year so it was good fun.

“We could definitely have a good team. We need to somehow find a way to qualify for a World Cup. I think everyone would be keen to play if we were in a World Cup but at the moment, a lot of the games are in Australia or in Malta locally so it’s just hard to get everyone together at one time.

“I think if we could make the push to get to a World Cup then we’d get a competitive side together.”

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