All-time Best Super League XIII: Salford Red Devils

In this series, we put together the ultimate Super League starting 13’s for each club that has seen at least five seasons in the competition.

Today it’s the turn of Salford, so here’s who we think would make their ultimate Super League XIII…

1. Niall Evalds

Evalds made his debut for Salford back in 2013 during a 40-6 defeat against Catalans, where he scored their only try. It was in 2015 when he started to prove himself as a potent try-scorer. He scored 19 tries as Salford narrowly secured their Super League status, including a hat-trick against Halifax in the Qualifiers. 2019 was perhaps Evalds’ finest year. He scored 22 tries in 33 matches, as Salford reached the Super League Grand Final for the first time. It was confirmed in May that he’ll leave the club next season, but he’s undoubtedly been one of their greatest players in the last decade.

Notable mentions: Karl Fitzpatrick, Luke Patten, Luke Dorn

2. Jodie Broughton

Broughton joined Salford from Leeds ahead of the 2010 season and instantly hit form, scoring 12 tries in 23 games. His best game came in 2011, as he scored all four tries for Salford in a 22-12 victory in the South of France against Catalans Dragons. That season, he finished with a try-scoring return of 14. The England Knights International bettered that the year after with 15 tries to his name, before leaving the club at the end of 2013 to join Huddersfield.

Notable mentions: Nick Pinkney, Greg Johnson

3. Stuart Littler

Stuart Littler. Credit: News Images

Littler came through the academy at Salford, before making his debut for the Reds in 1998. His first try came in an 18-18 draw against Sheffield Eagles. He soon established himself as a reliable member of the side, regularly playing 20-plus games a season. His best try-scoring return came in 2005, as he scored 16 tries, including a hat-trick in a 42-10 win over Warrington. He departed for Leigh Centurions ahead of the 2011 season.

Notable mentions: Kevin McGuiness, Ashley Gibson, Mark Henry

4. Josh Griffin

Griffin signed for Salford in 2014 from Championship side Batley Bulldogs, and immediately made a mark on the team with eight tries in eight games. In 2015 and 2016, he was influential as the Red Devils secured Super League status, being part of the final two tries scored in the dying minutes of their dramatic Million Pound Game win over Hull KR.

Notable mentions: Joel Moon, Junior Sa’u, Nathan McAvoy

5. John Wilshere

PNG international Wilshere signed for Salford ahead of the 2005 season from Leigh Centurions. He scored two tries on his debut in a 24-6 victory over Warrington Wolves. Over an 80 game spell for the Reds, spanning over three years. He scored 33 tries and 174 goals in that time.

Notable mentions: Martin Offiah, Alan Hunte

6. Steve Blakeley

Blakeley signed for the club from Wigan in 1992, and helped them achieve promotion to the Super League in 1996. His best season came in 1999, as he scored seven tries, including a hat-trick during a 31-14 win over London Broncos. His good form attracted interest from Warrington, and he signed for the Wolves for the 2000 season. However, he returned to The Willows after just 12 months. Blakeley went on to have his best goal-scoring season since 1997 in his first year back, kicking 64 goals. In 2002, Salford were relegated after a final day defeat against Castleford Tigers. Blakeley scored two penalties, but it wasn’t enough. He retired a year later.

Notable mentions: Daniel Holdsworth, Rob Lui

7. Michael Dobson

Salford St Helens Betting
Michael Dobson.

Dobson signed as part of the Red Devils’ rebrand under Marwan Koukash in 2014, arriving with plenty of Super League and NRL pedigree. Injury restricted him to just 15 games in the regular season during 2015, however, his experience would prove crucial in the Qualifiers, as he kicked 22 goals in six matches. He had his best season in 2017, scoring 112 points in the regular season as Salford finished inside the top eight, before returning to Australia to play for Manly-Wynnum Seagulls. He scored 301 points over three seasons for Salford, and over a thousand during the course of his career.

Notable mentions: Jackson Hastings, Matty Smith

8. Neil Baynes

Baynes signed from Wigan ahead of the 1999 season and became an almost ever-present in the team, missing jus four matches. In 2002, he played in every single game but couldn’t stop Salford from getting relegated. He did, however, stay with the club as they earned promotion back to the Super League. He went on to have his best try-scoring season for Salford in 2004, scoring seven, including one in a famous victory against St Helens at The Willows. He eventually left to join Whitehaven in the National League.

Notable mentions: Ray Cashmere, Lee Mossop, Darrell Griffin

9. Malcolm Alker

Alker spent his entire career at Salford after debuting as a teenager in 1997, and made almost 300 appearances for the club. In 2000 he was named captain and played every game that season, scoring eight tries. 2006 was his testimonial year and he played every game again, with his only try coming during a 26-16 win against Castleford Tigers. He was forced to retire in 2010 due to injury but went on to be part of the coaching staff for a year afterwards.

Notable mentions: Joey Lussick, Wayne Godwin, Andrew Dunemann

10. Craig Kopczak

Craig Kopczak. Credit: News Images

Kopczak joined Salford ahead of the 2016 season from Huddersfield Giants. He made an immediate impact, achieving his best try-scoring return since leaving Bradford Bulls, and becoming a linchpin in the Red Devils’ pack. The Welsh International became a regular starter but injury limited his appearances in 2018. He returned for the Middle 8s, helping the Red Devils to survive comfortably, before joining Wakefield ahead of 2019.

Notable mentions: Craig Stapleton, Sean Rutgerson, Gil Dudson

11. Andy Coley

Coley joined from Greater Manchester rivals Swinton Lions ahead of the 2001 season. He slotted straight into the side and played 21 matches. In 2004, he returned his best try-scoring tally with eight, including his first Super League double in a defeat at Wakefield Trinity. The England international carried on as a regular in 2007, starting every Super League match, before leaving to join Wigan at the end of that year.

Notable mentions: Josh Jones, Ian Sibbit

12. Ben Murdoch-Masila

Ben Murdoch-Masila. Credit: News Images

Salford signed the Tongan forward from Penrith Panthers ahead of 2016. He slotted straight into the team, with his barnstorming runs seeing him become a cult hero at the club. In the Qualifiers, he scored five tries, including one in the Million Pound Game against Hull KR. 2017 saw him really assert himself as Salford starting moving up the table. He scored 13 tries in 17 regular season matches in 2017, an impressive tally by any player, let alone a forward, but was then snapped up by Warrington at the end of  the year.

Notable mentions: Luke Adamson

13. Simon Finnigan

Finnigan signed for the Reds from Widnes back in 2006, and had an impressive first season, racking up 12 tries in 25 games, including a hat-trick against Wakefield Trinity. The Ireland international played every game again in 2007, scoring five tries. He then departed for Bradford Bulls ahead of the 2008 season but had a profound impact on the Salford side during his three-year stint.

Notable mentions: Mark Flanagan, Chris Charles

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