Reds new boys set for bows
Australian duo Vic Mauro and Liam Foran insist they will be ready to make their Super League debuts for Salford City Reds against London Broncos tonight, just 48 hours after stepping off the plane.
The Manly Sea Eagles pair represent the first line of reinforcements coach Phil Veivers has been seeking since losing a host of experienced players at the end of last season.
They will go straight into the City Reds line-up as replacements for Lee Jewitt and Rhys Williams and are aiming to make an instant impact as Veivers’ men look to follow up their first win of the season against Hull KR last Sunday.
“It’s a challenge but we’re definitely up for it,” said half-back Foran, 24, the older brother of New Zealand international Kieran. “We’ve been back with Manly doing the whole pre-season.
“We’ve been without footie for three months and we’re eager to get out there and play. We’re not going to make any excuses, we just want to go out there and contribute to the team.”
Mauro, a 25-year-old prop or second rower, said: “We had a good sleep last night and a great training run this morning. We got to meet the team and we’re ready to go.”
Mauro made 47 appearances in six seasons at Manly, was a member of the Sea Eagles team that beat New Zealand Warriors in the 2011 Grand Final and tonight will go up against one of his team-mates from that day in Shane Rodney, the London second rower.
Foran, who has been in negotiations with Salford since Christmas, had his appetite for Super League whetted by watching his new club stage their dramatic fightback against Hull KR.
“I got up at five o’clock to watch it on television,” he said. “It was a great second half by the boys. It takes lot of courage to come back like that. It was quite impressive.”
In tonight’s other game, champions Leeds Rhinos will be looking to bounce back from their World Club Challenge defeat when they visit St Helens.
While Leeds went down to Melbourne Storm last weekend, Saints produced their best performance under new coach Nathan Brown in winning 36-10 at Bradford Culls and will fancy their chances of extending their impressive home record against the Rhinos.
“Leeds will be disappointed in losing the World Club Challenge,” said St Helens hooker James Roby. “They did well in the first half and from what I heard they were unlucky to lose the game.
“But we are coming off the back of a win and are confident. We are climbing the ladder of improvement each week and we will hopefully hit peak form at some point.”