Salford Red Devils’ push for the top eight in Super League have taken a big blow after the loss of one of their key players, back Niall Evalds, due to a broken leg.
While no timescale has been put on the England Knights squad member’s return, he is doubtful for their end of season trip to Papua New Guinea and it is a huge setback for the AJ Bell Stadium team – the 24-year-old has been one of few bright points in an otherwise tough year. Initially featuring predominantly on the wing this year for Salford, he moved to full back following Gareth O’Brien’s mid-season move to Toronto. Before suffering his injury – which struck last weekend against Huddersfield – he had crossed for seven tries in fifteen games this season, currently boasting a record of roughly two tries in every three games in his Red Devils career.
“Losing Niall is a blow for us,” said head coach Ian Watson. “He’s been terrific so far this season in attack and defensively with his backfield play.” As it stands, there are a clutch of players who could step into the full back berth including Jake Bibby, Derrell Olpherts and Greg Johnson. What it will do, however, is frustrate Red Devils fans further due to their inability to bring in a replacement for O’Brien, thus leaving them in a situation where their squad – small in Watson’s opinion – is stretched further.