Nelson Asofa-Solomona returns to the starting side. Picture: Getty
Nelson Asofa-Solomona returns to the starting side. Picture: Getty

Asofa-Solomona’s 28-hour tattoo ordeal

A giant man with a high threshold for pain.

For a tattoo artist, that is a nightmare scenario.

But "Big Nasty" Nelson Asofa-Solomona is only just getting started.

"I've got a lot more skin left," the Melbourne Storm enforcer grinned.

The 200cm, 115kg New Zealand-born prop inked more than a four-year contract extension in the off-season.

He delivered on a longstanding desire to display his Samoan bloodline.

Asofa-Solomona sat like a rock for 33 hours as entrusted artist Oti, of Uso Tatau, painstakingly went to work on the prop's right leg.

The intricate design took 28 hours to complete - in two marathon 14-hour sessions.

The time it takes to fly to Los Angeles and back basically. Alternatively, four return trips to New Zealand.

"I tried my best not to (shed a tear) but I was definitely biting the pillow," Asofa-Solomona said.

"It definitely wasn't the best pain I've had … but I really wanted to have something that represents my family and my name.

"It helped me get through the pre-season, definitely, when I was going through tough times I looked down and it got me through."

 

Nelson Asofa-Solomona spinning the Steeden at training. Picture: Getty
Nelson Asofa-Solomona spinning the Steeden at training. Picture: Getty

 

The eye-catching design is symmetrical made up mainly of straight lines and larger blocks of dark cover.

The forearm sleeve was a breeze, in comparison, at just five hours.

Asofa-Solomona, who already had ink done on his stomach, back and next to each eye, commissioned Oti after finding Uso Tatau on Instagram.

"I love art … and really love the artwork people have on their bodies and it's something I really want to do on my body," Asofa-Solomona said.

"I want to get a few more on me. I'm not too sure what I will be doing tattoo wise but I've got a lot more skin left.

"I'm just doing my whole body really, I don't really care, it is (only) skin."

The pair went to work last summer with Oti bringing Asofa-Solomona's design to life.

But not before two sleepless nights which Oti admitted took both a mental and physical toll.

"He sat really well," Oti said.

"It was pretty much me that tapped out on him, otherwise I reckon he would have been able to go the whole way.

"He's one of the biggest (men) and definitely longest sessions I've had the pleasure of working on."

Nelson Asofa-Solomona spent more than 28 hours in the tattoo artist's chair.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona spent more than 28 hours in the tattoo artist's chair.

On the field, it is more of the same.

Asofa-Solomona is only just getting started.

The 23 year-old, contracted until the end of 2023, is only now entering the prime of his career.

A scary proposition for anyone game - or silly - enough to stand in front of a human freight train.

Fifth-season prop Asofa-Solomona, who boasts incredibly slick hands and speed for a man that size, is already a premiership winner and Kiwi international after just 77 NRL games.

The 2017 Anzac medallist, particularly dangerous close to the try line, franked his big-game credentials last year with man-of-the-match honours in the World Club Challenge.

Asofa-Solomona will partner Storm pack leader Jesse Bromwich in Thursday night's NRL season-opener against Brisbane Broncos, with Christian Welch and Fijian Tui Kamikamica on the bench.

"It's really good that our middle hasn't changed too much but we still got a lot of young forwards coming through," Asofa-Solomona said.

"We lost Tim Glasby (to Newcastle), which he brought a lot of experience and good defensive work (but) Tui's doing a great job.

"He's a workhorse and works really hard on defence, ball work and attack.

"I'm sure he'll get a good crack this year and hopefully grabs that opportunity with both hands because we got a lot of young players coming through."

News Corp Australia


Turf club boss ‘astounded’ at quality of Cup Day fields

Premium Content Turf club boss ‘astounded’ at quality of Cup Day fields

After surveying the 176 nominations, including 25 for the $176,500 City of Ipswich...

Rosewood woman awarded medal for work with local seniors

Premium Content Rosewood woman awarded medal for work with local seniors

For more than 22 years, volunteering has been a passion for Nelly

Queensland Budget on track for surprise surplus

Premium Content Queensland Budget on track for surprise surplus

Queensland’s Budget is on track to return to a razor-thin surplus