Salford owner planning British & Irish Lions raid
February 21, 2014
Marwan Koukash wants to see British & Irish Lions stars turning out in rugby league © QANTAS
The owner of the Salford Red Devils is planning a sensational bid to bring British & Irish Lions stars to rugby league, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Marwan Koukash believes league needs to react to the decision of Great Britain's Sam Burgess to join Bath next season. The movement of players between codes has predominantly been a one-way street in recent years, with union clubs able to offer far more money to some of league's most prized assets.
But the ambitious Koukash has made no secret of his desire to make Salford the biggest club in rugby league, rebranding them the Red Devils last year when he took over at the club, and he insists he already has his eye on some of union's biggest names.
"We as rugby league have to hit back," Koukash told the newspaper. "I am happy with the squad but if we have to strengthen, I will buy players from rugby union and I mean the very top players. We already have our eyes on a few and if this is what we have to do, we will do it.
"We are already on the lookout at players who have played for the British Lions. If we want them, we will get them. I will show rugby union what I can do. This is not a publicity stunt and I will make many people eat their own words. I will make Salford the biggest club in the country and I have the cash and the resources to do just that."
Koukash has recently called on Super League to drop the restrictive salary cap, and has already targeted the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Tomkins - brother of union convert Joel, who made his England debut last autumn.
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