Salford sign eight more players and relaunch as Red Devils

Salford have announced eight more signings for the 2014 season, including Rangi Chase, on the day the club were relaunched as the Red Devils.

Castleford's England stand-off Chase, 27, is the stand-out new arrival.

Also joining are Wigan forward Gareth Hock, St Helens forward Tony Puletua, Wakefield half-back Tim Smith and London Broncos hooker Tommy Lee.

Parramatta full-back Jake Mullaney and Batley Bulldogs duo Jason Walton and Greg Johnson complete the additions.

Deals had already been agreed with Adrian Morley (Warrington), Junior Sa'u (Melbourne Storm), Francis Meli (St Helens) and Steve Rapira (New Zealand Warriors).

Rangi Chase

Rangi Chase was named Super League's Man of Steel in 2011, beating Wigan full-back Sam Tomkins and St Helens hooker James Roby to the award. On the same day, New Zealand-born Chase received his first call-up to the England squad, having qualified on residential grounds.

Owner Dr Marwan Koukash, who completed his takeover of the Reds on 31 January, has repeatedly promised significant investment in the playing staff since arriving at Salford City Stadium.

"Hopefully today we have silenced the doubters," he told BBC Radio Manchester. "We have delivered what we've always said we would deliver.

"People should never doubt me, and this is only the start. Within three or four years, we intend to build the biggest club in the land."

Salford are 13th in the table and could still end the season bottom of Super League, but optimism is high that they can challenge for a top-eight place in 2014, especially with the latest batch of additions made by coach Brian Noble.

The most eye-catching of the new signings is New Zealand-born England international Chase, who won the Man of Steel award in 2011 and is expected to be part of Steve McNamara's World Cup squad later this year.

Salford had two bids for the stand-off rejected earlier in the year before the player handed in a transfer request last month.

"It's a big day for the club and it's an honour to be here," he said. "It's a relief to get it out, it's been the worst-kept secret.

"It's very exciting waiting for next year to happen. It's going to be a big year and I can't wait to be part of the transformation of the club. The sky is the limit for us."

Salford Red Devils

Hock, 30 on Thursday, served a two-year drugs ban for testing positive for cocaine in 2009 and had been expected to join NRL side Parramatta Eels at the end of this campaign, which he has spent on loan with Widnes Vikings.

The England international confirmed he had decided to remain in England for family reasons.

The arrival of Smith was effectively announced on Saturday with cash-strapped Wakefield revealing they had been forced to sell the Australian to cover their wage bill.

Experienced Samoan Puletua, 34, has spent the last four seasons with Saints, making 112 league appearances.

Noble is confident that next year he can deliver a winning side at Salford, who end their 2013 season with a home match against Widnes on Friday.

"I want to finish the season off well and then we sharpen our knives for next year," said the former Great Britain coach. "Today's occasion really set that up.

"I don't have a problem with expectancy levels. Everywhere I've ever been, I've placed myself under massive expectancy and that's not going to change."