Storm giant Asofa-Solomona happy with super sub role
Nelson Asofa-Solomona is happy to be the impact player.
The giant Storm prop has terrified defences over the past few months, earning man-of-the-match honours in the World Club Challenge and being one New Zealand's best in their failed World Cup campaign.
He's only started in eight of his 53 NRL games so far but enjoys providing some impetus with his 201cm, 115kg frame.
"I just come on when everyone's tired I guess," he joked.
"I'm just trying to do my role when I come on and be a spark. I've obviously come off the bench for a while and got a couple of medals there (he was also best on ground in last years' Anzac Day clash against the Warriors).
"It's funny, people look at the bench and think, 'It's not that good, I'd been rather starting'. I want to try and reinvent it. I don't really mind it – as long as I'm playing, that's all that matters."
The 21-year-old has taken confidence from his strong 2017 season but wants to keep consistent.
There's no chance of getting ahead of himself – the odd verbal spray from his coach keeps him honest.
"I've been here for nearly five years and taken a lot of experiences there, especially Craig Bellamy giving me a few rockets," he said.
"I've learned a lot of great stuff. I know Craig's got the best intentions and if he wasn't yelling at me, I would be worried because that means he cares about me."
With Jordan McLean leaving a hole at prop, you'd think he would spy an opportunity in the starting side. But the quietly-spoken Asofa-Solomona is happy just being him.
"It's a hard one because he was here for such a long time, he had such a massive role here and was such a great player," he said.
"I'm not trying to fill anyone's boots; I'm just trying to be the best that I can be for the season."