“I took it with both hands” – Krisnan Inu enjoying his time as a coach

Drew Darbyshire
Krisnan Inu Salford Red Devils SWpix

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Krisnan Inu had offers to continue playing this season, but doesn’t regret hanging up his boots after being given the opportunity to become a coach.

The 36-year-old closed the curtain on a stellar playing career at the end of last season, having made more than 300 career appearances for Parramatta Eels, New Zealand Warriors, Canterbury Bulldogs, Catalans, Widnes, Salford, Lezignan and Leigh as well as representing New Zealand and Samoa internationally.

Inu has revealed that he had a couple of offers to continue playing this year, but couldn’t turn down the opportunity to become an assistant coach with Super League club Salford when offered the opportunity by head coach Paul Rowley.

“The transition (from playing to coaching) has been good,” Inu told Love Rugby League.

“I didn’t have time to miss the game coming straight into this, so still being in the footy environment has been a positive and the boys make my job easy, they are very teachable.

“(Growing up) as a kid, if I wasn’t a footy player then I always said I’d want to be a teacher. Coaching is a bit of both really.

“It sort of caught me by surprise at first, I still had a few clubs looking to continue on the journey and then Rowls hit me up and offered me the role, so I took it with both hands.”

Krisnan Inu learning aplenty from Paul Rowley

Inu, a former New Zealand and Samoa international, says he’s learning new coaching skills every training session under Salford head coach Paul Rowley.

“He’s been awesome,” Inu said of Rowley.

“Watching how he coaches over the past few months and in pre-season and seeing what he wants from the boys, I think I would’ve loved to have played under him.

“I was fortunate enough for him to have me a part of his circle to be here so that’s where we are at.

“He is probably one of the most experienced and honest coaches I’ve had in my time, especially being on this side of the world and being under a few coaches over here.

“He only wants the best for his players, I’m sure that’s something every coach wants, but he’s very passionate about his job and the people around him and wanting everyone to be on the same page and wanting the same goals.”

Inu is covering a variety of roles in his position as Rowley’s assistant, particularly focusing on the defence.

“I just try to help the boys defensively, especially the middles,” said Inu.

“It is something different for myself and being under Rowls, he likes to surprise you with tasks and for me it was a funny one. I was a centre/winger and now I’m trying to teach the middles how to tackle!”

Does he fancy being a head coach one day?

Inu replied: “I don’t know, I haven’t looked too far ahead on that.

“I’m the little fish in the big pond now so I’m doing my best to learn as much as I can to learn under Rowls and Haggs (Kurt Haggerty) and learning from the boys at the same time.

“I know I’ve been around, I’ve been under a few coaches and played with a lot of teams but I’m still learning a few things, especially with different players, how they react and things they need when preparing for games rather than just focusing on myself. There’s always something to learn.”

The Red Devils are in Challenge Cup action this weekend. They face Huddersfield at the AJ Bell Stadium in the sixth round on Saturday, 7:30pm kick-off.

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