Harris hopeful over injury crisis

Published: Wednesday 29th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Salford coach Iestyn Harris is now confident he will not be forced to press his assistant coaches into action at Hull on Friday.

Harris currently has just 12 players in training who are available for the trip to the KC Stadium due to injuries and suspensions and says the club are still considering registering his right-hand man Ian Watson, 38, and Under-19s coach Martin Gleeson, 34, in time to play on Friday.

However, Harris told a news conference that a host of his injured players, who currently have a 50-50 chance of being fit, are ready to play through the pain barrier.

Prop Adrian Morley (ankle) and hooker Wayne Godwin, who was on Wednesday undergoing facial X-rays to determine the extent of his injury, have been added to Salford’s lengthy absentee list following Sunday’s 22-20 defeat by Castleford.

However, Mason Caton-Brown (ankle), Theo Fages (ribs), Liam Hood (thumb), Scott Taylor (eye) and Kevin Locke (groin and knee) have not yet been ruled out despite picking up injuries against the Tigers and will all be given late fitness tests.

“At the last count, we’re not far away,” Harris said. “There are a few people that could potentially come through for us and we’ll give them until the last minute.

“Hood is there or thereabouts, Bish is the same, as are Mason and Scott Taylor. We’ve got five or six who are 50-50, so we’ll give them until tomorrow to try and prove their fitness.”

Harris, who is able to welcome back prop Darrell Griffin from suspension, admits he may be forced to field players who are not 100 per cent fit.

“If you had a lot of cover in relevant areas you’d probably say take another week to get right, but we haven’t got that luxury at this moment in time,” he said.

“Rugby league is a tough sport and you need tough people. We’ve got some guys putting their hand up and are ready to go again. Probably on a normal week you wouldn’t risk them, but there’s some tough people in the group.”

Harris also confirmed that he is considering bringing in more loan players, to add to last week’s signing of Wigan duo Oliver Gildart and James Greenwood, and that Gleeson and Watson remain last-resort options.

“We’re exploring it,” Harris said. “If four or five of the 50-50s don’t come through, then we’ll need to look at that but at this stage we’re probably all right.”

Meanwhile, Salford have confirmed the appointment of Featherstone’s former Leeds, Hull, Castleford and Warrington prop Garreth Carvell as the club’s new welfare officer.

Carvell, who last week made his debut for Rovers, is taking on a role that has been earmarked for Morley once he retires from playing.

Club chief executive Martin Vickers said: “We’re really pleased to bring somebody of Garreth’s stature into the club.

“He has a wealth of experience and expertise that he’s gained from many years in the game and I’m sure off the field he’ll add further value to our already excellent support staff.”

Published: Wednesday 29th April 2015 by The News Editor

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