Soliola and Nuuausala find comfort in Canberra
Frank-Paul Nuuausala never wanted to leave Sydney but after linking up with his former Roosters teammate and best friend Iosia Soliola at the Raiders the two veterans have found comfort in one another's company after becoming inaugural members of Club 82' – Canberra's senior leadership group.
Along with fellow recruit Josh Hodgson, Nuuausala and Soliola join existing senior members Shaun Fensom and Jarrod Croker in the group, a credit to the way they have settled into the Raiders following their moves to the nation's capital.
"It does make me feel more comfortable that Sia is here. He knows when I'm down or not feeling up to it, so he helps me along which is really good," Nuuausala told NRL.com.
"It was a bit hard knowing you're the new kid on the block when I first got here but now I realise it's going to be awesome to play next to him again."
Soliola was buoyed by the news that Nuuausala had signed for the Raiders just weeks after he arrived back in Australia, following his five-year stint at Super League giants St Helens.
Knowing how much his mate Nuuausala had achieved in the NRL, Soliola believes his smooth transition was partly because of Nuuausala's presence.
"It's always nice I suppose when you are that new kid at school that you also having a really good friend to go with you. It's been really good to see Frank's transition with the way he's played and the impact he's made and just the general way he's changed as a person," Soliola told NRL.com.
"When I first came here I was feeling out a lot of things, where I was just getting to know all the boys. Once I actually built a few relationships Franky jumped on board which made me feel like I could help him out a little bit. His arrival helped me in the sense that I had someone on the same page as I was."
While Soliola's father was a big factor in his return to the NRL, the 28-year-old couldn't be happier to do the previously unimaginable and play with Nuuausala again.
Having only seen one another "once or twice" in the past five years according to Nuuausala, both men are pleased for their reunion.
"It's one of those things, especially when I was in England for so long, that you don't think will ever happen again," Soliola said.
"But to have this opportunity to play and reunite with one of the boys that you sort of grew up with and went through the grades with is pretty cool."
As best friends do, Nuuausala and Soliola both have a common interest – which they are unashamed in boasting about – in Canberra's traffic.
While they love one another's company more than you can believe, their respective admiration for the traffic in the nation's capital could be even greater.
"The best part about being in Canberra is the no traffic," Nuuausala said. "It's good. Nobody is in a rush and everybody has time for one another."
Soliola added: "I've wasted a lot of petrol trying to find my way around. I'm just one of those people who like to explore, and at one point I was dropping off everyone at home after training just to get to know the area.
"I would get lost heaps, but you'd find your way around. It's not like Sydney where you have to go through 50 traffic lights to do a U-turn, so it's actually quite nice."