Taulima Tautai knows exactly what to expect from Jarrod Sammut at Wigan next season – the ‘X Factor’.
The Australian halfback joined the Warriors at the weekend on a two-year deal, becoming the club’s first signing since coach Adrian Lam’s arrival.
Sammut may be a new face to maybe of the Wigan players but Tautai has played with and against the 31-year-old before.
They were team-mates at Wakefield together in 2014 and also crossed paths as juniors in Australia.
And prop Tautai believes the ex-London No.7 will be a real asset as Wigan step up their preparations for their title-defence.
“He’s got that X factor about him, for sure,” said Tautai.
“I played with him at Wakefield and I played against him, too, when I was younger.
“I was with Parramatta when he was at Penrith, and before that we played for different catholic schools against each other, so from the age of 16 really.
“He was the same kind of player then that he is now.
“He’s got that zip, he’s nippy, which makes him very hard for defenders to get a hold of.
“And if he sees something on, he’s not afraid to go and back himself.”
Asked whether Sammut spoke to him before signing at Wigan, Tautai smiled: “He didn’t. I literally heard something on the Friday, someone said we might be signing him, and I thought: ‘That’d be good’.
“Then on the Saturday morning, I turned up for training and he was here and it was a case of: ‘What’s up bro?!’
“He’s a good fella, he’ll fit in well and he’s got the experience, too.”
Meanwhile, the Wigan squad relocated to Milton Keynes yesterday to start a short pre-season training camp with the Red Bull motor-sport team.
“They’ve kept it under wraps, they’ve not told us too much about it,” said Tautai.
“We’ve been trying to find out bits, like asking: ‘Do we need to pack goggles?’ and things like that.
“It should be fun as well as hard work, but that’s what pre-season is about.”