Watson confident Watkins will shine despite six-month hiatus

Salford Red Devils head coach Ian Watson is excited by the impact new signing Kallum Watkins will bring to the team.

Watkins is all set to make his debut for the club when they face the Catalans Dragons in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Friday.

It will also mark his first competitive match for six months when he was down under playing in the NRL for Gold Coast Titans.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Watson said: “Kallum is looking good. He trained with us the first session he arrived.

“Kallum has now come in and looked the part. He looks to have kept himself in top condition. There is no sign of his knee injury. In training, his movements look far better now.

“I think his last game was for Gold Coast Titans all the way back in March. It has been a while but he is looking good.

“You only get that fitness by playing in games. I am sure he will be blowing at some point during the game but the length of time he has played, he is smart enough to know when he can catch a breather.

“He knows when he needs to work off the ball for the team. I am sure he will handle everything just fine.”

For Salford, Friday’s cup clash is a big one with the competition presenting them with their best chance of silverware this season.

Last year’s Grand Finalists are off the pace in Super League and Watson knows they have to go all out as they aim to go within 80 minutes of Wembley.

“We have made it no secret that we want to win the Challenge Cup, in house, and that is what we want to do,” Watson said.

Watson has told his players to go all out for the Challenge Cup. Credit: News Images

“We have to put out our best performance against Catalans to be able to do that.

“Looking at the Super League, if we get everyone back on the field, we will be good enough to compete with anyone on the day as the quality of our squad is getting better and better all the time.”