Salford secure Locke coup

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2nd May 2014

Salford Red Devils have announced the capture of New Zealand Warriors full-back Kevin Locke on a three-year contract.

The Red Devils' ambitious owner Marwan Koukash hailed the signing as evidence of his determination to transform the fortunes of last year's First Utility Super League wooden spoonists.

"Kevin Locke is one of the most exciting talents in the game," Koukash said. "Not only that but we have taken him from the NRL - something people kept telling me couldn't be done.

"This signing proves that we will be competitive at the very top of the sport.

"I have always made my intention clear that we will work tirelessly to make the Red Devils a household name in this country and beyond and signings of this calibre - along with the other names we already have at the club and in the pipeline will begin to make this a reality.

"Kevin is one of two major signings we have made for 2015 this week and we will be releasing more information on the other later in the season."

Locke was at full-back for the Kiwis in November's World Cup final at Old Trafford but has not played since due to a knee injury, and his place at the Warriors has gone to England full-back Sam Tomkins.

The 25-year-old Locke made 87 appearances for the Warriors, scoring 26 tries and 24 goals, and won his eighth cap in New Zealand's 34-2 defeat at Old Trafford.

He sat out the first two months of the 2014 NRL season and, with former Wigan Warrior Tomkins finding his feet with the Auckland club, has been forced to play reserve rugby after recovering from injury three weeks ago. He was not in contention for Friday's Anzac Test with Australia in Sydney.

Salford coach Iestyn Harris said: "There is no doubt in my mind that next year we will have the most exciting full-back in the competition.

"Anybody who has seen Kevin play will have seen how fast he is but his game is more than raw pace. He is a class act and he will light up Super League for at least the next three seasons, of that I am sure."

Locke will link up with his new team-mates for pre-season training in October.