Salford Red Devils have already lost two members of their brilliant spine to Leeds Rhinos and could be about to lose another.
Paul Rowley assembled a fantastic spine together in 2022 despite Salford’s limited budget. He signed Brodie Croft from Brisbane and paired him up with Hull FC legend Marc Sneyd who was replaced at the MKM Stadium by Leeds Rhinos’ Luke Gale.
Sneyd returned to his first club a two time Lance Todd trophy winner and was joined by home town star Ryan Brierley who joined from Leigh Leopards.
It was the Scotland fullback who has been been targeted by a unnamed Super League club according to Rugby League Live. They have offered a fee for the fullback and Salford have moved to keep him by offering him a new deal. A smart move after the loss of Croft and Andy Ackers to Leeds and also the form of Brierley in 2023.
Paul Rowley, who has brought Brierley with him wherever he has gone, will want to keep him especially after acknowledging the difficulties of coaching on a budget on the Bench, he said:
“I think it can be equally difficult when you’ve got all the resources because with all the resources comes all the expectation as well so so it’s equally as hard for different reasons.
“We’ll deal with what we’ve got, and that’s limited resources. Like I said before, we harness it, we turn that into a strength, and we become tight from it as well.
“You’ve played in teams that have a circle of tightness and trust, and I feel like we’ve got that, and we like to overachieve.”
This helped make 2023 a challenge after the heights of 2022: “I think obviously we started off really well. It’s always challenging at the beginning. Resources in terms of environment, things that we take for granted, gym, field, things like that. Not always being what other clubs have got, should we say.
“It affects what you do in terms of training and practice and we pride ourselves on practicing our skill in particular more than anything and therefore that translates onto our detail on the field. I do think that has reflected on our season.
“Our detail has not been as good this year and that’s a culmination of not practicing the detail as much as we’d like for those sort of reasons.
“The other thing that challenged probably the mid-season blip coincided with obviously the chat and the noise about funding of our club and that sort of uncertainty certainly rocked our team, as with the Tyler Dupree one as well.”
Mentioning Dupree, Salford won’t want a repeat of this again in the winter. But which club is it likely to be interested in Brierley?
It is likely his former club Leigh Leopards. They have lost Ben Reynolds to Featherstone Rovers so signing someone like Brierley would be a massive boost.
They certainly want a playmaker of some kind after missing out on Brodie Croft. Could they be now looking at Brierley?