KRISNAN INU helped turn Salford Red Devils into trophy-hunters during his time there as a player, and he now hopes to make them a top-half team as a coach.
The 35-year-old has called time on his 16-year playing career after helping Leigh Centurions, now Leopards, to promotion into Super League.
Former New Zealand and Samoa international Inu made almost 150 appearances in the NRL with Parramatta Eels, New Zealand Warriors and Canterbury Bulldogs before moving to France with rugby union club Stade Francais.
He returned to the 13-a-side code with Catalans Dragons and then moved to England with Widnes Vikings before joining Salford early in 2019.
He spent three seasons with the Red Devils, playing a role in their improbable run to the Super League Grand Final in his first year at the AJ Bell Stadium before helping them reach the Challenge Cup Final the following season.
Those two major final defeats were among 53 appearances for the club, featuring 24 tries, but he has now returned to Salford in the role of assistant coach.
“I’m excited to be coming home and joining the staff in a role I wasn’t expecting to come into,” said Inu.
“I’m grateful and proud to be helping the team reach their goals and get them to where they deserve to be, and that’s in the top six.
“I can’t wait for the challenges ahead and I’m looking forward to what the next few seasons bring.”
Inu completes Salford’s coaching line-up alongside head coach Paul Rowley and his right-hand man Kurt Haggerty, following the departure of another assistant, Danny Orr, after 2022’s play-off charge.
Rowley said: “It’s really pleasing that Kris has decided to join us on the coaching staff. His knowledge of the game is first class and he is respected throughout the game on both sides of the world.
“Kris has had a fantastic playing career and made a positive impact at each club he’s represented – one of those, of course, being Salford.
“With that in mind, I not only welcome an intelligent and experienced rugby guy, but more importantly a trusted friend who I am looking forward to helping on the next phase of his rugby journey.”