Salford Red Devils assistant coach Krisnan Inu says it was a tough decision to hang up his boots last year, but he has no regrets after finding a love for coaching.
The 36-year-old retired at the end of last season after playing a key role in Leigh’s promotion-clinching season in the Championship.
Inu scored 25 tries and kicked 159 goals in 23 appearances for Leigh last year as they won promotion back to Super League.
The former New Zealand and Samoa international has revealed that he was actually planning to play on in 2023 before he was offered an assistant coaching role by Salford boss Paul Rowley.
Inu said: “Coming off a red hot team that I was part of last year, all those accomplishments that I gained last year were awesome and I was actually looking forward to continuing on the journey (of playing).
“I got a tap on the shoulder by Rowlsey by surprise and I just felt it was just a good transition for me to come into that.
“I think I’ve been able to not miss the game as much because I’m still around it so to go straight from player to staff has been massive.
“Obviously its comes with its challenges and a few different things, I’m the small fish in the pond now! I’ve still got a lot to learn and I’m still learning.
“I’ve been in the game long enough and I’m still learning now, so it has been good.”
Krisnan Inu enjoying life in the coaches’ box
Inu had a distinguished career in the NRL before moving over to Super League in 2015.
The Auckland-born centre made more than 150 appearances in the NRL for Parramatta Eels, New Zealand Warriors and Canterbury Bulldogs.
Inu then enjoyed three seasons in the south of France with Catalans Dragons before spending six years in England with Widnes, Salford and Leigh.
Inu is proud of his playing career and says he is loving every minute of the next phase of his career in coaching.
“It is good to be standing with the whistle rather than being on the floor and making the runs, that’s the fun side of it,” Inu laughed.
“All the hard work that goes unnoticed, I started to figure that out real quick at the start of pre-season.
“And all the time, effort and sacrifice on top of what a normal guy would do is really eye-opening and you take for granted all the coaches and efforts that they’ve done before being a staff member.”