28 November 1993 |
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||182 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||95 kg (14 st 13 lb)|
|Position||Wing, Centre, Fullback|
As of 4 March 2018
David Nofoaluma (born 28 November 1993) is a Samoan international rugby league footballer who plays for the Wests Tigers in the National Rugby League. A Prime Minister's XIII and New South Wales City representative, he plays on the wing, centre and fullback.
Nofoaluma played his junior football for the Campbelltown Warriors and Campbelltown Collegians before being signed by the Wests Tigers. In 2010, he played for the Australian Schoolboys and also New South Wales U18's team. In 2011, Nofoaluma again played for the New South Wales U18's team. He played for the Tigers' NYC team in 2011 and 2012, scoring a try as a member of the 2012 Grand Final winning team. On 23 May 2012, Nofoaluma re-signed with the Tigers on a two-year contract.
In Round 10, Nofoaluma made his NRL debut for the Tigers against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on the wing in the 54-10 loss at ANZ Stadium. The next week against the North Queensland Cowboys at Leichhardt Oval, Nofoaluma scored a match-winning try, winning the game for the Tigers 22-20. In his third appearance in Round 13 against the Penrith Panthers, Nofoaluma scored two tries in the first half in the 20-18 win.
In Round 20, Nofoaluma gained attention for a try he scored against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles. Leaping for a Benji Marshall cross-field bomb, Nofoaluma caught the ball before being shoved by Manly winger Jorge Tafua. With most of his body in the air over the dead-in-goal line, Nofoaluma managed to place the ball down for what was described as, "arguably the most acrobatic try of the past decade." It was awarded the Dally M Try of the Year. In total, Nofoaluma scored eight tries from his fifteen appearances in 2013, and was described as, "a revelation on the flank." Despite his limited appearances, he was sixth in the competition for tackle-busts throughout the season. He was named by Phil Gould as one of the rookies of the year.
After missing Round 1 with a hamstring injury, Nofoaluma returned for the Tigers in Round 2, scoring a try in the Tigers 42-12 win. On 11 April, Nofoaluma re-signed with Wests Tigers, keeping him at the club till the end of the 2017 season. In April, Nofoaluma was named in the Samoan team to play against Fiji in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League International to qualify for the 2014 Four Nations; He was later ruled out with a knee injury and replaced by Young Tonumaipea. In Round 18, Nofoaluma suffered a season ending ACL injury. He scored 7 tries from 15 matches in 2014.
After undergoing off-season surgery on his knee, Nofoaluma returned from the injury via the Wests Tigers NSW Cup side. A subsequent ankle injury meant he did not return to first grade until Round 10. With team-mate Chris Lawrence moving to the second-row, Nofoaluma played some games at centre before swapping positions with Kevin Naiqama and returning to his regular position of winger. Nofoaluma played in 10 games and scored 6 tries for the season. On 26 September, he represented the Prime Minister's XIII against Papua New Guinea, playing on the wing. He scored two tries in his team's 40–12 win.
Nofoaluma scored three tries in the opening two rounds of the season. In May, he was a late selection for City, but only lasted five minutes in the match before being replaced after suffering a head knock. Missing just one game for Wests Tigers, he was the team's joint leader for tries scored, with a career-best 14 and led the entire competition with 134 tackle breaks. He said, "I think it was the best year of my career, for sure. I was really happy with how I went. It was exciting to know what I can do when I get more games into me. I felt better and better as each game went on and I think I was playing my best footy at the end of the year, which was really pleasing." Coach Jason Taylor named Nofoaluma the club's best player for the second half of the season.
Nofoaluma received high praise for the first game of the year, with the Daily Telegraph saying, "Playing as if he needed to break 200 metres to get paid, Nofoaluma eventually churned through 211 while also creating several opportunities, through his seven tackle breaks and two line breaks, that would eventually lead to points for others. Hell, the Tigers No. 2 even offloaded—yes, offloaded—five times." In April, it was announced that Nofoaluma had re-signed with the Wests Tigers on a four-year contract. Weeks later, he suffered an injury that required groin and hernia surgery, but played on for the remainder of the season. He said, "I couldn't do certain movements. Even when sitting up, I couldn't get out of bed; I had to roll out. I could have had the operation straight away, but there was no depth in the team, and Ivan needed me out there."
Nofoaluma finished the regular season in the NRL's top five performers for metres gained, tackle-breaks and offloads. He led the Wests Tigers in these fields and was also their leader for line-breaks. He was the only player to play in all 24 games for Wests Tigers, scoring 8 tries. At season's end, he was named as a winger in the Rugby League Professionals Association Dream Team.
Despite his achievements in 2017, Nofoaluma was a surprise exclusion for round 1, with Corey Thompson chosen ahead of him on the right wing. Playing reserve grade, he scored two tries. Nofoaluma said, "It was one of the biggest shocks of my career so far. But in saying that, for me coming out today, even the whole week leading up to this game, it makes you feel like you've got to perform at your best to be at the top with the best." With Tuimoala Lolohea suffering a knee injury, Thompson moved to fullback and Nofoaluma returned his regular spot in the team for round 2.
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- Adrian Proszenko. "NRL 2018: David Nofoaluma plays through the pain for Wests Tigers". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017.
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- Paul Zalunardo. "Konrad Hurrell and David Nofoaluma the surprise selections in RLPA team of the year". Wide World of Sports.
- Adrian Proszenko. "'The biggest shock of my career': Nofoaluma didn't see axing coming". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Adrian Proszenko. "Nofoaluma back after injury strikes Wests Tigers' round one hero". The Sydney Morning Herald.
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