Nofoaluma relishing belated chance at NRL Nines
Tue 11 Feb 2020, 04:01 PM
Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma says he can’t wait to finally get a taste of NRL Nines after missing the four years at Auckland mostly through some unfortunately-timed injuries.
Nofoaluma’s first chance at the reduced format came late last year with the Toa Samoa World Nines squad but he has now been given the nod by coach Michael Maguire to get his first run with a Wests Tigers Nines team.
“I played in the internationals but it’s my first NRL Nines tournament,” Nofoaluma told NRL.com.
“Just going from the past, it’s fun. People don’t realise how enjoyable it is. If you didn’t get an opportunity to play you’re missing out so I’m definitely looking forward to it and so are the teammates.”
The tackle-busting speedster hoped his style of play would be well-suited to the format.
“It’s a lot of excitement for the outside backs, it’s going to be a good weekend,” he added.
The Nines will be the first chance for many of the club’s array of outside backs to try and prove they warrant a spot in coach Michael Maguire’s 17 for round one.
Wests Tigers buoyed by new recruitsWests Tigers buoyed by new recruits
Wests Tigers buoyed by new recruits
Incumbent fullback Corey Thompson can also play wing and faces a challenge for his spot from Souths recruit Adam Doueihi, who can also play halves and centre. Robert Jennings can play wing or centre, centre Tommy Talau is pressing to add to his one NRL cap and Paul Momirovski can play anywhere in the back five if he ends up staying at Concord for 2020.
Nofoaluma looks almost the only certainty on one wing but even he had to work back from reserve grade this time last year after an injury late in the pre-season.
“It shows we have a lot of depth,” Nofoaluma said.
"We’ve got no egos at our club, every player in the club, every individual, we want the best for the team. That’s the culture we’ve built amongst each other. Madge (Maguire) is going to line up the best 17 players to play week in week out. Every player who gets an opportunity wants to make the most of it.
"Last year I was unfortunate to dislocate my shoulder on the last day of pre-season and I had to work my way back.
“I like a challenge and that was a challenge for me last year. I came back and personally thought I had a fantastic finish to the end of the year. Having that mindset of finishing the year and reaching the next level I personally think is a big challenge for me this year to go out and show a lot of people the potential I have.”