Watson tips Nakubuwai to be a big hit in Super League

Salford head coach Ian Watson has tipped new signing Ben Nakubuwai to be a big hit with the Red Devils.

The Fijian prop completed his move to the club last week as Watson added another signing to his ever-growing squad for 2018, although he will join up with the club once his visa is approved.

Nakubuwai was an ever-present during The Bati’s World Cup campaign and impressed greatly as they shocked New Zealand to make the final four.

His arrival at Salford brings an end to the club’s extensive search for a new prop. Watson had made a big, physical forward the top priority in his recruitment plans for next year, and Nakubuwai is set to provide Salford with the qualities Watson felt were lacking at times last year.

“He has all the skills we look for,” he said.

“His work rate, his attitude to work for his teammates and what he does both with and without the ball too.

“He’s gone to Gold Coast where he made his NRL debut and he was labelled as the one to watch.

“He’s a strong ball carrier. You’ve seen him defensively against New Zealand. He didn’t lose any of his contacts whatsoever, I think only one player he struggled with was Nelson Asofa-Solomona who is about six foot six. But his contact is first-class and we’re really excited to get him in.

“He was the one we were hoping we would get in through the World Cup. He had to play at least three games to qualify and luckily for us he’s done that.”

At the age of 21, Nakubuwai joins the Red Devils as a player on the up rather than one preparing for life after his playing career.

Watson believes his decision to move to Super League now is a big indicator about his motives to join the club.

“Normally you’re looking at those older players and sometimes you question their motivation for coming across,” he said.

“But I don’t think you can question anything about Ben. He’s motivated, he’s hungry to get over here and he wants to make a name for himself by advancing his game.

“He thinks he will fit in over here and I’m under no uncertain terms that he’ll do that. Every person I’ve spoken to about him says how good of a bloke he is.”

The new League Express features an interview with Ian Watson discussing his next recruitment plans. Buy League Express today in stores or online at TotalRL.com/le.