New Zealand Test star Kevin Locke could make his Salford debut against the Huddersfield Giants on Saturday.
The Red Devils’ big-name signing jetted into England on Tuesday and went straight into training with his new teammates.
His addition to the squad from the New Zealand Warriors is widely regarded as Salford’s last throw of the dice in their effort to make the top-eight play-offs.
And with just nine games remaining and the Red Devils eight points adrift of the play-off zone, coach Iestyn Harris may be tempted to throw Locke straight in to the Super League fray at the John Smith’s Stadium this weekend.
Locke will tonight be introduced to the fans as part of a high-profile meet and greet event at the AJ Bell Stadium, with club owner Marwan Koukash believing the presence of one of the Australia NRL’s brightest stars will provide everyone with a timely boost – whether he plays on Saturday or not.
“Kevin is a world-class player and it’s another fantastic signing for us. He will lift the team by simply being here,” said Koukash.
“I can’t wait to watch him play knowing what he is capable of.
“It makes sense to bring him in now. Come the start of next season, he will be very much part of the Salford set-up.
“Kevin has a very big part to play for us as we build and grow as a club.
“It can take a time for an overseas player to settle. I have chatted about this with Iestyn. He knows some players can hit the ground running, while others need a few training sessions in which to settle.
“We are certainly building a far stronger squad. We are also building for the future and have a number of players who have great futures.
“We are going to be young, fast and with experience as well. I am very excited.”
Salford have struggled to find a regular full-back this season.
They started the year with Jake Mullaney as the last line of defence before taking former Giants star Greg Eden on loan from Hull KR to relieve him of his duties.
Following Eden’s return to Rovers a month ago, half-back Niall Evalds has been at full-back, and he produced an excellent display in Sunday’s heartbreaking 14-10 defeat at Castleford Tigers.
But there seems no doubt that if Locke comes through training with no ill effects this week he’ll get the nod.
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