Salford sign England centre Kallum Watkins on three-year deal

Salford have announced the signing of England centre Kallum Watkins on a three-year deal.

The 29-year-old was previously with Toronto Wolfpack, who in July withdrew from the Super League season.

Watkins, a Salford season ticket-holder and ball boy as a child, won Super League six times with Leeds before having a stint in Australia with Gold Coast Titans, then joining Toronto in May.

Watkins said on the Red Devils’ official website: “It’s great to be part of the team and representing Salford will be an honour for me.

“I know it’s been a long time coming in a sense, but I grew up wanting to play rugby league and Salford was key to my development.

“The club means a great deal to me. If I hadn’t had those opportunities to support the club and be a ball boy growing up, you don’t know what would have happened. I might not be in the position I am, without having those influences.

“My family are really excited and really proud. We’ve talked about how good it would be to play for Salford, but also wanting to achieve something big with the club.”

Watkins has made 25 England appearances (Martin Rickett/PA).
Watkins has made 25 England appearances (Martin Rickett/PA).

Salford head coach Ian Watson said: “We are extremely lucky to have been in a position to acquire a player of Kallum’s quality and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to work with him.

“Building a team through players who are competitive and work hard has been really successful for us, but to get a player with both of those traits and world class ability is how we will grow into a team that challenges every year.

“Kallum has that and he recognises our progress as a team and a club, in recruiting other players with these three traits over the last few years.

“Being a local lad, Kallum will be embraced by the Salford supporters and I’m sure over the next few years he will prove to be one of the club’s best signings and it will show a real intent, not only for the remainder of this year, but in 2021, where we should have a phenomenal back line.”