Samoan connection: Salford Red Devils’ Krisnan Inu on long-lasting bond with David Nofoaluma

Drew Darbyshire
David Nofoaluma Salford Red Devils Alamy

David Nofoaluma (right) in action on his Salford Red Devils debut

Krisnan Inu and David Nofoaluma formed a friendship a decade ago in a Samoan international camp. Now, they are working together at Salford Red Devils in Super League.

Having played against each other during their time in the NRL, their friendship was formed in 2014 during an international camp with Samoa, who competed in that year’s Four Nations against Australia, New Zealand and England.

Ever since that Samoan camp Inu and Nofoaluma have kept in contact, and last month, they were reunited as Salford, where Inu is an assistant coach, secured the signing of prolific try scorer Nofoaluma on a one-year deal.

Speaking at the time of Nofoaluma’s signing announcement, Salford head coach Paul Rowley revealed his assistant Inu played a big part in the negotiation process, helping bring Wests Tigers’ all-time top try scorer to the Red Devils.

“I played against Nofs for few years before he was my room-mate in a Toa Samoa camp in 2014,” Inu told Love Rugby League.

“It only takes one camp and you’re friends for life with most of the boys, especially Samoan camp, so that was a relationship that we kept and we always stayed in touch like I do with a lot of boys back home still to this day.

“It was just a friendly chat pretty much, one thing led into another and here we are, he’s here.

“It wasn’t as simple as (a quick phone call), he had a lot on his plate over there at the time and he had a few things to deal with and we were obviously down to one quota spot left, so we had a lot of work on our side to find the right person we needed at that time and to fit our puzzle and our team, and how we work.

“As easy as picking up the phone sounds, it wasn’t as easy as that, we still had to do our homework as coaches and see who slotted those big shoes that Ken (Sio) left behind.”

Nofoaluma made his debut for the Red Devils in their 22-12 defeat to Wigan Warriors last week after suffering from the lurgy upon his arrival in England a month ago.

“He got the ‘welcome to the UK sickness’,” Inu laughed. “The standard coughs and colds and all that type of stuff, he was bed ridden for a week so he’s got over that, he’s passed the test so now he can live here for as long he wants! Nofs is good, he does his own thing and he’s a professional.”

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Salford Red Devils up for the Cup

David Nofoaluma Salford Red Devils Alamy
David Nofoaluma in action for Salford

Salford have enjoyed an impressive start to the Super League season, winning three from five games, with those two defeats coming in narrow circumstances.

The Red Devils have turned their attention to the Challenge Cup this week, with a trip to Hull KR on Friday night in the sixth round.

“I think no-one expected us to be where we are which is standard for us and how other people see us,” said Inu. “For us, we expect a lot from our players and they know that. They’ve trained really hard through the off-season and pre-season for them to get those results, which is a credit to them and their hard work.”

“The Challenge Cup is a different thing, you always lift and you’ve only got one chance so last week or yesterday doesn’t matter, you are going to face another team, especially in this competition, so we’re expecting their best as we’re expecting the best from our boys.”

The Red Devils are boosted by the returns of Cade Cust, Ollie Partington and Joe Mellor for their sixth round clash with the Robins.

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