Sinoti Sinoti admits his lightning-quick feet are down to his days playing rugby with his mates on the street back home aged 10.
The 28-year-old Samoa international has been a revelation on Tyneside since arriving from Wellington last Christmas, capping off an impressive first campaign in the Aviva Premiership by scooping the Try of the Season award at the club’s end of season dinner for his explosive score at home to Saracens.
Explaining his unique attacking style, Sinoti said: “It’s not through any coaching or watching games on TV, it’s just from me and my mates playing in bare feet back home in the street. It kind of stuck, and I have just perfected it as the years have gone by.
“Obviously the likes of Benji Marshall in rugby league and some of the sevens players do it, like Waisale Serevi, who is a legend in Fiji. But I tried it when I was a little kid, and it just stuck.”
Mobbed for his autograph by youngsters after games at Kingston Park, Sinoti is enjoying a new lease of life in English rugby and insists the Premiership is the toughest league in Europe.
He said: “To try to stay on top of your game for nine months or more is difficult, and you can go through spells where you are good for a few weeks and then you drop off.
“I now need to get my motivation back for the forthcoming season and I’ll spend some time back home in New Zealand in order to freshen up as it’s a long season ahead.”
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