Devils delighted as Luke returns
SALFORD have confirmed that forward Luke Burgess will rejoin the club for the 2018 Betfred Super League season.
The elder of the four Burgess brothers that were part of South Sydney Rabbitohs’ NRL premiership-winning side in 2014, featured eight times for the Red Devils after joining on a short-term deal for the Super 8 Qualifiers in 2016.
Indeed, the 30-year-old was one of the club’s star performers in the thrilling Million Pound Game at Hull KR, before leaving to join Catalans Dragons.
“We’re delighted to bring Luke back to the club,” said Salford head coach Ian Watson.
“He’s going to be another big signing for us going forward. I’ve been keeping tabs on him since Luke impressed in his spell with us at the end of 2016 and bringing him back is massive for us.
“Luke’s performance in the Million Pound Game stands out as his attitude to get a quick play-the-ball created our first try and enabled us to be able to shift the point of attack.
“In the second half when we were low on numbers, he played big minutes and when there were tough carries to be taken Luke always turned up and his desire in defence was first class.
“He gives us even more size and power to our already solid pack and he adds a lot of experience which will help the younger lads in the squad.”
Red Devils CEO Ian Blease indicated the capture of Burgess, which follows the arrivals of Gavin Bennion, Derrell Olpherts and Levy Nzoungou, does not signal the end of the club’s recruitment.
“We’re delighted to have got this deal over the line and we are close to sealing another couple of players,” he explained.
“Our squad is taking shape ahead of next season and is already looking strong.”
Meanwhile, Liam Bent has signed a permanent deal with Oldham following his release from Salford.
The 20-year-old forward made 17 appearances during a loan spell with Roughyeds last season and the recently-relegated club moved quickly to bring him into the fold on a permanent basis despite plenty of interest from elsewhere.
“When Salford released him we were anxious to sign him before anybody else did,” said head coach Scott Naylor.
“He showed in his 17 games for us last season that he was more than capable at Championship level and he was only 19.
“Extremely professional in everything he does, he’s unbelievable in training and he’s meticulous in things like looking after himself and getting the right diet.
“He’s a perfect match for the sort of squad we’re building here.”
Elsewhere, Salford have confirmed they will host local rivals Swinton Lions in their first pre-season friendly of 2018, at the AJ Bell Stadium on January 14.
Luke Burgess is set to rejoin Salford