Why Salford Red Devils coach Paul Rowley is backing David Nofoaluma to fill Ken Sio’s shoes

SALFORD coach Paul Rowley believes that new signing David Nofoaluma will be the perfect replacement for Ken Sio.

Nofoaluma, 30, has spent eleven seasons in the NRL, all of them with Wests Tigers (although he had a six-game spell with Melbourne Storm in 2022), where he made 192 appearances and scored 100 tries. He is the top try-scorer in that club’s history.

He has joined the Red Devils on a one-year deal, and arrived in the UK last week.

Nofoaluma must fill the shoes of Sio, who departed Salford last season after scoring 78 tries in 101 appearances over five years, and recently joined Thirlmere Roosters in New South Wales’ Macarthur Rugby League competition.

“He’s a strong signing for us,” said Rowley.

“Everybody knows that a 24-man squad is not going to cut it in Super League; it won’t survive. So he’s the first step towards solving that issue and he’s a strong step towards addressing it.

“His CV is very impressive. We lost Joe (Burgess) and Ken (Sio) during pre-season, who have been fantastic for us over the years and generally at the forefront of everything good for Salford, so they’re big boots to fill.

“Kenny (Sio) scored a lot of tries that went unnoticed in terms of you take it for granted, but other wingers won’t score (in those positions).

“Picking up balls that are bobbling along the floor or popping up in a position that’s totally down to game sense, and I think David Nofoaluma mirrors a lot of what Kenny brought to the party.

“He’s probably got on his side that he’s a little more agile and elusive than Kenny.

“If we can replicate anything near what Ken Sio did for this club than we’ll be happy, because he’s been a consistently great performer for Salford, and within Super League for a lot of years.

“So if David can bring that sort of consistency from his game, then the quality we’ve already seen makes him a good signing for us.”