Salford Red Devils’ (50/1 to win 2021 Grand Final) director of rugby and operations Ian Blease believes the signing of New Zealand forward Elijah Taylor “is a statement of our intent” ahead of the new Betfred Super League season.

The 30-year-old has joined the Red Devils on a two-year contract after leaving NRL side Wests Tigers back in September and he will reunite with former teammates Tui Lolohea, Sebastine Ikahihifo and Krisnan Inu at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Taylor made over 180 appearances during his time in the NRL, while he played in all six of New Zealand’s matches at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, as the Kiwis made it through to the final before losing to Australia.

Salford (25/1 to win Challenge Cup) will now be looking to benefit from the qualities and experience that Taylor possesses and Blease certainly feels the former Penrith Panthers star has the ability to take the Red Devils to the next level.

“The addition of a world class talent like Elijah will help elevate the squad as a whole,” Blease told the Salford website. “This signing is a statement of our intent and I am sure will fill our supporters with excitement for his first match in Salford colours.”

Taylor himself is excited to be joining Salford, revealing that it has been a long-term ambition of his to play in the Betfred Super League.

The Hawera-born star is hoping to guide the club to further success following their Grand Final appearance in 2019 and run to this year’s Challenge Cup final.

“I’ve spoken to a few of the players who I know, and Salford sounds like a great club,” Taylor confirmed. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity of playing at Salford, ripping into training and living over there.

“I’ve been following Salford over the last two years and have always wanted to play in the Super League at some stage.”

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