It will be fully 18 months since Morgan Escaré last stepped onto a rugby league field when the new Super League season kicks off.
The French international could never have imagined that the Friday the 13th relegation showdown between Wakefield and London in September 2019 would prove so unlucky for him. Escaré was on loan at Trinity from Wigan, where just 12 months before that he had been part of a Grand Final winning team.
But a change in coach at the Warriors signalled a change in fortunes for the 29-year-old full-back, who would play just six times more for the club in early 2019 before heading for Wakefield. He was released from his Wigan contract in June, and after a month training with his new club Salford, returned to his native Perpignan to prepare for this season.
Now Escaré – who first burst onto the Super League scene with Catalans Dragons – is raring to go with the Red Devils. He explained: “It’s been a very long last year for me. I didn’t play at all for Wigan but I was training every day before I left.
“When Shaun Wane was the coach I was playing every game and won the Grand Final. Since then I’ve played about 10 games in two years and that’s been tough.
“It was very hard training every day and when the weekend came going to the stadium to watch the boys. I spoke to Adrian Lam about it and he told me that I was training well but that he preferred Zak Hardaker or Bevan French.
“It’s made me hungrier – I’m very excited for the start of the season.”
Escaré is one of a host of new faces in a Salford squad that has seen its own change of coach with Richard Marshall taking over from Ian Watson. Marshall has given Escaré an early vote of confidence by handing him the number one shirt – but the Frenchman is taking nothing for granted.
He added: “When I came into training Rich asked me which number I preferred and I said one or 18. When he said it would be one I was very happy, but I know it doesn’t mean everything. I was no.1 for Wigan in 2019 and hardly played.
“After not playing at all last year, I just want to give the best of myself every game this season. That’s the main thing for me.
“We’ve got a very good squad this year and training has been really good so far. Last year they played in the Challenge Cup final and we want to do well again this time.”
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