One of the biggest weekends in Salford Red Devils’ history is just days away but the build-up Josh Jones is set to embark on will certainly take some beating.
Salford, 150-1 pre-season relegation candidates, have battled against the odds all season in historic fashion to reach their first ever Betfred Super League Grand Final where they will face St Helens at Old Trafford on Saturday.
But, if that wasn’t significant enough, Red Devils prop Jones also has to contend with getting married the day after the final before joining up with Wayne Bennett’s Great Britain performance squad.
“I can’t wait for the Grand Final, it’s been a mad season for everyone involved at Salford and for me it’ll be a great way to bow out,” Jones said.
“There will probably be a few emotions there, I’ve got a mad week – the Grand Final on Saturday, I’m getting married on the Sunday and I’ve got my first Great Britain call-up and we fly out and travel on the Wednesday.
“It could be a fairy tale couple of days and playing Saints will make it that little bit sweeter, especially if we beat them.”
Salford’s unprecedented rise this season didn’t get going initially, with inconsistent performance characterising their form early in the campaign.
However, once things truly began to click on the pitch, Ian Watson’s side never looked back and won eight games on the spin to confirm their spot in the play-offs.
Inside the bubble of the phenomenon, Jones has revealed how the Salford team could feel they were a part of something different while competing.
The 26-year-old also points to Salford’s defence as the key area where they will have to be successful if they are to best the might of St Helens.
Jones added: “I think we knew [something special was brewing] from the beginning of the season. We’ve got some quality players and a decent, injury free pack which has had a great year.
“It’s been an amazing season, no one could write this, it’s been like a fairy tale but the ride is not over yet.
“St Helens are an outstanding team, the league doesn’t lie. It’s going to be a tough team, we’ve done our homework and there will be plenty of areas we focus in on.
“A few of us have played in big games and understand the big game mentality and it all comes down to your defence in those moments to win those big games. All the boring bits wins you the big games, the one per centers.”
The Betfred Super League Grand Final is the biggest night in Super League and takes place at Old Trafford, the iconic home of Manchester United on Saturday 12 October (6pm KO). Secure your seat by visiting https://www.superleague.co.uk/tickets/grand-final