‘Lockers would have absolutely killed it in the NRL’

Frank-Paul Nuuausala in action (left) against Huddersfield

Frank-Paul Nuuausala in action (left) against Huddersfield

Sean O’Loughlin has been hailed a “walking, living legend” by team-mate Frank-Paul Nuuausala.

And the Kiwi prop nicknamed ‘the wrecking ball’ knows a thing or two about quality players, having lined up alongside some of the best during his decade in the NRL and playing for New Zealand.

I’m trying to take as much as I can because he’s one of the greats of rugby league, and a legend of this club

Frank-Paul Nuuausala

Nuuausala, set to face Hull FC on Friday, only played a few games with the England skipper last year due to the latter’s injury.

But this term he has lined-up with him in all five games played, and he believes the 34-year-old will go down as one of the game’s greats.

He enthused: “I first heard of him in ‘09 when I debuted for the Kiwis. Thomas (Leuluai) was in the squad and he obviously played with him at Wigan, and he said Lockers is one of the best he’s played with.

“I was like, ‘Yeah?’, but then since I’ve been here I can tell you there’s a real aura about him.

“He doesn’t say much but he leads by actions.

“Some people, especially the younger guys, don’t appreciate greatness but he’s a walking, living legend.

“I asked him why he didn’t go to the NRL because he would have absolutely killed it, and he said because of family, which shows you the kind of bloke he is.

“But he’s world class, and you look at the age he’s at now and he’s still killing it.

“I’m trying to take as much as I can because he’s one of the greats of rugby league and a legend of this club.”

O’Loughlin withdrew early in Sunday’s 16-16 draw with Huddersfield and won’t play on Friday.

Hull FC have won their last three matches and Nuuausala admits this is one of his favourite fixtures.

“I like playing them because they’re big,” he grins.

Warriors are without a clutch of frontline players but Nuuausala, 30, says they will have no pre-emptive excuses for a poor performance on Friday.

“You look at the Grand Final, we had half the salary cap on the sidelines,” he said.

“But the youngsters here are talented and they’re ready to step in when they get a chance.”