Veteran Devil full of running
The man who has a credit in a Hollywood blockbuster has become a talking point for the Norths Devils in a remarkable return to the Intrust Super Cup.
Namila Davui was back in first grade last weekend, four years after he quit rugby league and 18 years since he made his debut in the competition.
It was no surprise when Davui scored one of the Devils’ three tries in their gritty win over Easts Tigers at Langlands Park.
He’ll be back tomorrow when the Devils host the Mackay Cutters in a game that will be televised live across the state.
That’s fitting for Davui, who dabbled in acting after quitting rugby league in 2014 after a long career in the NRL feeder competitions.
His credits are growing – Davui played a security guard in Thor: Ragnarok and he was also in the Australian television series Hoges, serving a drink to main character Paul Hogan.
Hogan would be among the few Australians with a life story to match Davui’s.
He was born in Fiji, moved to Sydney at age two before heading to Mornington Island, where his father Saimoni was a Uniting Church minister.
From there Davui moved to Rockhampton, making his debut in the Queensland Cup for the Central Comets in 2000 – even before the Devils funnelled young guns Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk into their team.
Davui was then signed by Parramatta before heading to the North Sydney Bears and across to Canterbury, where he was named for his NRL debut only to be denied by a miraculous injury recovery from winger Hasem El Masri.
After a stint with London Skolars, Davui headed for Brisbane where he helped the Devils to the 2010 grand final.
But Davui had enough in 2014 after the first of his three children was born and life became busy with his role as a youth worker. Last year, he gave boxing a go and claimed a silver medal in the Golden Gloves tournament.
But rugby league wasn’t out of his system so Davui approached new coach Rohan Smith in the off-season, requesting one more crack in the top grade.
Davui’s chances were jolted during the pre-season when he strained a hamstring while scoring a try against Redcliffe but it takes more than that to keep him down.
He returned last week against Easts, playing well in a game that the Devils rescued in the final minutes.
“It was just good to be back out there with the guys – I had not given up hope playing Intrust Super Cup again because I was keen,” Davui said.
“I went for one training run in the off-season and I knew I wanted to play again.
“The environment at Norths this year has been great for me. This coaching staff knows how to get the best out of players which has worked well for me.”
Davui has been reluctant to compare the Devils of 2010 to the squad that has moved into second place after eight rounds of this season.
That Devils squad of 2010 rolled through a long unbeaten streak and only fell short in the grand final when Northern Pride proved too good.
“We’ve got a long way to go this season. We’re still developing combinations and we’re learning more about each other,” Davui said.
“But it’s an exciting environment to play in.”
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