Incoming Wests Tigers manager Tim Sheens backs the NRL’s loan scheme and says it can provide players with the ‘punches in the arm’ they need to revitalize their careers.
Sheens has confirmed that David Nofoaluma will return to the Tigers for the next two years after being loaned out to the Melbourne Storm for the remainder of the 2022 season to help Craig Bellamy battle a growing number of injuries.
Nofoaluma told Nine he “fell in love with the game as soon as I started playing with Melbourne”, prompting questions about his return to Concord next season.
But Sheens is adamant the Samoan international will be back in Tigers colors, confident the short-term deal to join Melbourne will see Nofoaluma return to his best form in the NRL after he fell out of favor with the club. Tigers and found himself playing in the NSW Cup.
Sheens highlights Melbourne hooker Harry Grant as a prime example of the benefits of the loan system, given his move to the Tigers in 2020 – when he was stuck behind Cameron and Brandon Smith – accelerated his rise to the home state arena and saw him emerge as one of the best hookers in the game.
“In England there are loans and double registration is very common, and I don’t see any problem with that for clubs. It goes back to when Melbourne loaned us the young prostitute,” Sheens told the Herald.
“It works in England and for us it suited our needs to give [Nofoaluma] the experience he needed and the shot in the arm he needed. He has a two-year contract to come back to us and he was playing in reserve for us when he left.
“He still has two years left on his contract.”