Locke not heading to Scotland

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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New Zealand full-back Kevin Locke’s proposed move to Scottish rugby union is off.

The SRU was given permission by Salford owner Marwan Koukash to talk to the 25-year-old and, along with his girlfriend Chelsea, the Kiwi international met officials last week to discuss a switch of codes.

Locke went as far as agreeing personal terms and the SRU also settled with the Super League club terms of his release from his three-year contract but a senior spokesman for the SRU confirmed on Tuesday evening that the move was off.

”We would like to thank the Salford Red Devils owner and chairman Marwan Koukash for his co-operation in allowing us the opportunity to speak to Kevin Locke,” the spokesman said.

”The Scottish RU has now dropped interest in Locke after failing to come to any positive decision regarding the possibility of him changing codes.

”Marwan Koukash gave us permission to speak to the player but we could not reach a further agreement to bring him to rugby union.

”This now ends our interest in the player.”

Locke, who was asked to submit proof of his Scottish heritage, is now expected to remain with the Red Devils but Koukash has warned that he cannot expect to get straight back in the team.

The former New Zealand Warriors player missed Saturday’s win over Hull with a recurrence of a groin injury and has been told he must face competition from Salford’s two other full-backs, Niall Evalds and Ben Jones-Bishop.

“He’s most welcome to stay,” Koukash said. “But he needs to work hard in training and, when his chance comes, he needs to grab it with both hands.

“Reputations count for nothing. What he has done previously doesn’t count.”

Locke, who played for New Zealand in the 2013 World Cup final, joined the Red Devils last June after Koukash secured his early release from the Warriors.

Locke, who lost his number one shirt at the Warriors to England’s Sam Tomkins, made six appearances towards the back end of last season but has appeared only once so far this year.

Published: Tuesday 3rd March 2015 by The News Editor

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