Nuuausala to make new Old Trafford memories

The last time Frank-Paul Nuuausala played at Old Trafford his team was smashed 34-2 in final. Three years on the forward wants to create a better memory of the famous ground.

Nuuausala came off the bench in the 2013 World Cup final as New Zealand was soundly beaten by Australia.

It was the last game the prop played the Kiwi national team.

“It was first time I played here, there’s not good memories because there was a flogging,” he told Love Rugby League.

“But hopefully I can have some good memories this week.”

Fast forward 2016 and Nuuausala is no longer in the NRL, having swapped the Canberra Raiders for Wigan mid-season.

The 29-year old has made nine appearances for the Warriors and admits his timing has been fortunate to be in grand final.

“It’s just good timing really and a bit of luck but it’s all Wigan’s hard work,” he said.

“All the boys worked their arses off all year to get to this stage especially when their under-manned and under-strength.

“For me to come in and for them to accept me is unbelievable, sometimes I feel bad that i wasn’t here from the start but they gave me belief and they trust me so I’ve got to repay them this week.”

Nuuausala is averaging a tackle bust, 15 tackles and 63 metres from seven carries a game in Super League.

The veteran front-rower now feels settled in the Uk with his wife and child having also made the move.

“I feel like I’m settled now it took me a while but the boys embraced me and its easier,” he said.

“They except you and it’s an easy club and an easy team to get along and it makes it easier when you’re playing football.

“My wife and my child will be at the game, I was happy for her because she’s sacrificed a lot just to be here and hopefully I can get her a ring.”

Nuuausala was born in Auckland and cut his teeth in the NRL with the Roosters after being cut by the New Zealand Warriors.

He played more than 150 games for the Tricolours, winning a grand final in 2013 and the World Club Challenge against Wigan in 2014.

The man nicknamed ‘the Wrecking Ball’ has plenty of big-game experience for club and country after racking up 15 Tests for the Kiwis.

Regardless, Nuuausala is expecting a special atmosphere at Old Trafford.

“I’m speechless because its different,” he saud.

“You’ve got to try and block it out, it’s just going to be crazy.”

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