Super League: Salford's Kevin Locke unlikely to feature against Huddersfield Giants
Last Updated: 02/07/14 6:30pm
New Zealand international Kevin Locke is battling to overcome the effects of jet lag as he eyes an eagerly-awaited Super League debut for Salford Red Devils.
The 25-year-old full-back has joined Salford on a three-and-a-half-year contract and, after meeting his new team-mates on Tuesday, underwent a difficult first training session at the AJ Bell Stadium on Wednesday.
Red Devils coach Iestyn Harris is unlikely to throw the former New Zealand Warrior into action against Huddersfield on Saturday, with the home game against Hull FC a week later the more likely date for his Red Devils debut.
I haven't played for four weeks and you've got to take the travelling into consideration. Obviously I've got to get a bit fitter.
"I feel a bit crook," commented Locke on jet lag. "I felt a bit sick at training. I'm getting over it slowly.
When quizzed about his possible debut, he said: “I'm not too sure, maybe next weekend. I've got see how I feel yet. I haven't played for four weeks and you've got to take the travelling into consideration. Obviously I've got to get a bit fitter.
"I'm pretty excited to be here, though. It's something different. Training (on Wednesday) was a lot different to what I'm used to back in the NRL but it was still good to be out there running around. It has been a bit of a frustrating couple of months but I'm enjoying being here."
Salford, who have already started selling Kevin Locke merchandise, are hoping the arrival of their latest marquee player will provide them with a late-season fillip after enduring a disappointing first half to the campaign.
Locke, who played for the Kiwis in the 2013 World Cup final at Old Trafford in November, missed the start of the NRL season due to a knee injury and then found former Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins in his way of a recall to the Warriors team.
Locke is no stranger to England, having toured with New Zealand for the 2011 Four Nations Series, and has a host of friends at the Red Devils, including former Warriors team-mate Steve Rapira and former Junior Kiwi Rangi Chase.
"I spoke to Steve and Junior (Sau) about the club - and Rangi - and they said I'd love it," he concluded. "I guess I have to get used to the time difference yet. Hopefully I'll play next weekend, that's the game I'm looking to play in."