Roosters res­cued me from UK gloom

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - MATT LOGUE

RE­TURN­ING Roosters en­forcer Frank-Paul Nu’ua­susala has hit out at Wi­gan for mak­ing his re­lease from the English club dif­fi­cult, say­ing: “They didn’t care about my fam­ily”.

Nu’ua­susala has res­ur­rected his NRL ca­reer at Bondi, but he says his two-year-stint with the War­riors be­came so men­tally drain­ing that he wanted to re­tire.

He says home­sick­ness prompted him to ask for a re­lease with two years re­main­ing on his con­tract. Wi­gan even­tu­ally agreed, but Nu’ua­susala be­lieves they could have han­dled the process with greater com­pas­sion and class.

“They did things that I felt were not pro­fes­sional and right to be hon­est,” Nu’ua­susala told The Sun­day Tele­graph.

“They didn’t want to re­lease me early and they were just try­ing to play hard ball.

“They can say what they want, but I know the truth and I’ve got the proof if they want to come out. I still had a con­tract, but they made it dif­fi­cult and they didn’t re­ally care about my fam­ily to be hon­est.

“Things at Wi­gan just weren’t work­ing and I wanted to come back home to my fam­ily. I felt like I was wast­ing my time in Eng­land and I was just over it to be hon­est. I was go­ing to re­tire, but my wife said I’ve still got a chance to play in the NRL.”

Nu’ua­susala, 31, ini­tially weighed up an of­fer from Wests New­cas­tle, but this changed when his for­mer team­mate Jared WaereaHarg re aves con­tacted him about re­turn­ing to the Roosters. “Jared found out I was go­ing to re­tire, so he called me,” he said.

“I’ve al­ways been close to him. But I didn’t an­swer for two days, so he texted me telling me to an­swer.

“I called and he said, ‘do you want to come back to the Roosters?’ I still have goose­bumps about the con­ver­sa­tion.

“I spoke to Robbo and I re­mem­ber cry­ing, be­cause I had a feel­ing that I was go­ing to come home.”

To un­der­stand Nu’ua­susala’s deep love for the Roosters, you only have to look at his back.

There in red, white and blue is a 2013 premier­ship tat­too that sym­bol­ises his strong con­nec­tion to the Bondi-based club.

Nu’ua­susala is so loyal to the Tri­colours, he re­fused to get a Wi­gan tat­too when he won a premier­ship with the War­riors in 2016.

Now Nu’ua­susala is back at the Roosters, he feels com­pelled to re­pay the club he cred­its for help­ing him trans­form from a boy to a man.

“Ev­ery­one that knows me knows that the Roosters are my fam­ily,” he said. “I spent 10 years at the Roosters, so I feel like the club is part of me. I will al­ways bleed tri­colours no mat­ter what.”

Nu’ua­susala comes full cir­cle on Wed­nes­day when he plays in the tra­di­tional An­zac Day clash against St Ge­orge Illawarra. He has found mem­o­ries of beat­ing the Dragons in his maiden An­zac clash back in 2007. “I hold that game dearly,” he said. “I re­mem­ber the Aus­tralian na­tional an­them and the jets com­ing over. It was also the Roosters’ 1000th win in the NRL and we were the first club to do it.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.