Ian Watson: Salford boss concerned by Sale outbreak

Salford Red Devils boss Ian Watson admitted he was increasingly concerned with the coronavirus outbreak that has ended the Sale Sharks season.

The Sharks share the AJ Bell Stadium with the Red Devils, had 27 positive coronavirus tests in the space of a week and were scheduled to face Worcester Warriors at home on Wednesday. 

Sale had a further eight positive tests on Tuesday, as a result the fixture has since been cancelled. 

Ian Watson concerned about sharing facilities

However, Watson admits he had been left concerned with the situation. 

“We were a little bit nervous about the situation regarding Sale Sharks,” Watson said. 

“We were told that Sale would be doing a captain’s run at our stadium so we made sure we segregated and that we were not going anywhere near them. It doesn’t matter who they were bringing in, whether it was young kids or not, we just did not want to be near them at that time.” 

Ahead of their first Challenge Cup final since 1969 the club can ill afford any distractions.

The Red Devils are just over a week away from their first Challenge Cup final in 51 years, the club can ill afford any distractions. The Sharks forfeiting the game has left the Red Devils boss relieved. 

“Obviously, today, the game has been cancelled which means they will not be going in the stadium where we are going to be so that has taken a little bit of a risk out of the way there,” Watson added.

The Super League has already been forced to reschedule a handful of matches as a result of positive coronavirus tests. A disruption so close to the Challenge Cup final would be far from ideal for the RFL. 

Salford themselves were forced into a two week isolation period after their  first game back when opponents Hull FC had an outbreak in early August. 

Watson is hopeful that Sale’s situation won’t cause a knock-on effect and that the Red Devils will be unscathed.

“Hopefully it will not have a knock-on effect of cancelling games. The Challenge Cup final is just around the corner, we do not want games cancelled,” Watson said.

“I think our boys will be doing everything and extra at this moment in time to make sure they are all good.”