Former Hull KR coach Tim Sheens, who also had time at Salford Red Devils, has claimed that part of his move from Salford to Hull KR was because of talks that the two could complete a merger.
At the time, Marwan Koukash was owner at the Red Devils and his turbulent spell at the helm of the Super League club saw Sheens become part of the setup at the AJ Bell Stadium as Director of Rugby.
Despite Koukash’s deep pockets, he was unable to make Salford a force at that time as they spent more time nearer the bottom of Super League than the top, with Sheens appointment unable to inspire an improvement.
Speaking on his time at Salford, Sheens revealed all and how his move to Hull KR was initially part of a bigger plan.
“I didn’t coach at Salford but then went to Hull KR as a coach,” he said. “I signed to coach them in Super League but as we know that didn’t end up happening straight off the bat.
“I remember being in London and coming back listening to Salford, where I was at the time, play Hull KR, where I was going, in the Million Pound Game.
“The reason I applied for the job at Hull KR with Jamie Peacock, who was the Director of Rugby at the time, was because we were working to put the two clubs together.
“The two owners had some discussions about Salford and Hull KR playing as one club. I think Marwan Koukash would have let Salford go under because he completely lost his way with things.”
As we know Salford did not go under but Koukash was able to pass the club on to new owners after they stayed up in the most dramatic way in that Million Pound Game triumph over the Robins.
“At the time Marwan said ‘look I’m leaving the club’ and that I need to find myself a club. Jamie Peacock said to me ‘we need a coach, would you be interested?’
“I said I’d be interested as I was going to be out of work because Marwan was pulling the pin on Salford. Then Salford go and win the Million Pound Game – you couldn’t make it up.
“So Marwan runs around with the cheque in front of the fans and they stay in Super League and so he reinvests again and so we went to the Championship.”
The crazy turn of events wasn’t lost on Sheens who admitted that it took a lot for him to then commit to coaching Hull KR in the Championship after their dramatic fall from grace.
“It was a real head scratcher. I had committed to it though and the person I am I felt it was only right. I spoke with the owner and he had made a solid plan to get back up the first time of asking.
“We did that. It was a real experience from start to finish but the way the club responded to that setback of relegation was superb beacuse it really was unexpected.
“I don’t think the club or those in charge got enough credit for that achievement because it could have put the club on its knees with different people in charge, but everyone pulled together and got the club back to where it should be.”