Club captain Harrison Hansen and Cory Paterson will both leave Salford Red Devils at the end of this season, Director of Rugby Tim Sheens let slip today.
Hansen, 29, whose father Shane also played for Salford, signed a four-year deal with the Devils in 2013 after being courted by club owner Marwan Koukash.
The Kiwi was considered integral to the squad’s stability and is just one game shy of his 300th career appearance.
Where the former Folly Lane and Wigan player will be next year is anyone’s guess, but the leading contenders are thought to be Huddersfield Giants and Hull FC.
The star of Salford’s Middle 8 win over Wakefield, 28-year-old Australian Paterson signed in November 2014 on an initial one-year deal with the option of an extension until 2016.
The former Hull KR forward left Wests Tigers at the end of the 2014 season to pursue a career in professional boxing.
It was an unusually unguarded moment for Sheens, who is the defacto advisor to owner Marwan Koukash on all things rugby.
Sheens, whose remit is to look after the club’s administration, as well as help with recruitment at the club, let slip the revelation during a press conference at the AJ Bell Stadium earlier today.
“In real terms, the players who are leaving, particularly Harrison and other players like Cory (Paterson) and so on, are all playing well for the club,” he said.
It’s a blow to fans who were hoping the revelation that want-away French superstar Theo Fages had resigned were not emblematic of a growing dissent in the Salford squad.
Sheens added: “Yes, there is an issue with Theo (Fages), but I’m not at liberty to discuss that, but overall, there’s been some movement, and there’s going to be some movement in the playing staff.
“But at the end of the day, they’re all committed to the club, which shows there is spirit in the club, even though some people in the league have commented there won’t be.
“Credit to the club and Ian and his staff, let alone the senior players, who are holding it together.
“The guys are coming up every week and putting their bodies on the line.”
Sheens was present this morning as head coach Ian Watson took training at the AJ Bell stadium, prowling the pitch like a lion stalking his prey and on occasion, wandering over to have a quiet word with either Watson, Martin Gleason or an individual player, before slipping quietly into the background to watch over every move.
Scott Taylor and Lama Tasi are also due to exit the club at the end of this season.
Salford kick off against Leigh Centurions at 3pm this Sunday 16 August at the AJ Bell Stadium in the second match of their bid to remain in the Super League.
Five more Super 8 qualifiers remain after Leigh: against Bradford Bulls, Halifax, Sheffield Eagles, Widnes Vikings and Hull FC.