Frank-Paul Nuuausala never considered bailing on Wigan despite a recent trend of overseas stars leaving their clubs prematurely.
Several high-profile NRL recruits decided to cut short their spells in England at the end of last season.
Hull FC’s Frank Pritchard, Warrington’s Chris Sandow, Catalans’ Dave Taylor and Leeds hooker James Segeyaro sought releases from their Super League deals. But former Kiwi prop Nuuausala says he was never going to follow their example.
“I’m a man of my word, and I love Wigan,” said Nuuausala, who arrived mid-season from Canberra.
“They’ve been awesome to me. I was always going to come back.
“I’ve been living out of New Zealand since I was 18 so I don’t get home sick.
“The weather’s not been too bad, the boys said it would be really cold but it just reminds me of winter back in New Zealand and Canberra. I don’t mind it.”
Nuuausala made 11 appearances for Wigan last season – the last of which was in October’s Grand Final victory against Warrington.
His form improved as the campaign unfolded, and he proved a valuable asset in their title charge.
And the player nicknamed ‘the Wrecking Ball’ is hoping to wreak even more havoc in the 2017 season – which gets underway with Saturday’s trip to Salford Red Devils (1.15pm kick-off). “I can’t complain, coming in halfway through last season and finishing with a Super League ring, and that was credit to all the boys for putting in the hard work,” said the ex-Sydney Roosters forward, who turns 30 next Monday.
“I felt each week I was getting better, the combinations with the players around me were gelling, and eventually it stuck.”
Meanwhile, Cronulla winger Valentine Holmes is resigned to missing the World Club Challenge against Wigan on February 20 after suffering a hamstring injury in a pre-season match against Brisbane.
Holmes, who played for Australia in last year’s Four Nations, said: “Its not as bad as we thought.
“It’s a grade two strain which puts me out of the World Club Challenge. We don’t want to rush it and come back too soon.”
Wigan’s Good Friday derby against St Helens on April 14 will kick-off at 12.15pm, Sky Sports confirmed.
Their trip to Wakefield three days later (2.45pm) will also be televised.