The Liam Farrell Column: Frank-Paul is set to hit ground running
Frank-Paul Nuuausala stood up in the team meeting and spoke to the lads about what it meant to him to be at the club.
You could tell how passionate he is about playing for Wigan.
He said he didn’t realise how welcoming and professional it would be, how everyone has specific jobs, and he didn’t realise how intense the training would be – and you could tell he was happy about it. He wants to do all he can to make an impression and fit in, and I think he’ll do really well here.
He played for the Sydney Roosters in the 2014 World Club Challenge and for the Kiwis in the World Cup the previous year, so I know a bit about him, and he’s a talented player.
I think he’s Waney’s type of player – aggressive and hard-running – and I think he’ll add a lot to what is a pretty intimidating pack.
We’ve had some tough wins this year. Games we’ve had to grind out.
Friday’s 22-18 victory over Wakefield was arguably the pick of the bunch for me. I have to give the boys who played a lot of credit – it was an uphill battle, being down to 12-men for an hour.
And to come back at the end and get the win was a special effort.
I’ve been in games when a player has been sent off and it is tough – as soon as they go, you think, ‘This is going to be tough on the lungs. It drains your energy-level, and so for the lads to finish strong like they did, it showed how much determination they had.
With five minutes to go, we were peppering their line and when it didn’t produce a try, I thought, ‘That’s it’. But when they got the ball back from the scrum, they had another crack and it was a terrific effort by Lewis Tierney to ground the ball for the try. He signed a new contract over the weekend and it’s a credit to him, he’s shown this year what he can do.
When he plays, he brings energy and acceleration, and does a good job for us.
He’s a Wigan lad and he wants to stay here, even though he knows he would get into some Super League starting sides, whereas there’s never that certainty here!
I’d also like to congratulate Macauley Davies and Kyle Shelford on their debuts – they’re great lads and I was really chuffed for them.
This weekend is top against bottom but it doesn’t feel it, and that’s not how the lads will be going into this game.
Leeds are picking up some good results at the minute – not many sides go to Hull FC and win - and their squad is still loaded with talent.
The table may have changed but we won’t be treating this game any differently to any other trip to Headingley. I’ll miss the game through injury, but I started back training this week, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I’m back out there.
Liam Farrell was talking to Phil Wilkinson