Crossing codes from league to union, forging a career at Sale Sharks and making an impact on the international scene – Denny Solomona is following a path well-trodden by Jason Robinson.
The former Samoan rugby league international made a blistering start to his union career in the summer, scoring a try with his first touch wearing the Red Rose.
That is where the comparison ends, though, with Solomona having been sent home from an England training camp in August after a drunken night out with Manu Tuilagi.
Robinson, on the other hand, was on the straight and narrow after a troubled childhood by the time he reached Sale via a successful career at Wigan Warriors.
And he now hopes Solomona – who was briefly recalled to England’s training camp ahead of their win over Australia last weekend – can learn from his misdemeanours and make a success of himself in Eddie Jones’ side.
“He needs to not miss training! It was a surprise when it happened, but he knows, more so now, that if you do hard work, but it only takes a slightest thing to then undo most of that hard work and you have to start again,” said Robinson, speaking on behalf of Land Rover at the annual HITZ awards.
“And when you’re got so much competition, there’s only so many chances you get.
“He’s walked into a wall, he’s had a bloody nose, now he just needs to wipe it down and get back on it. Looking at him in the summer, the try he scored, it was a great thing for him. I was really pleased for him.”
Robinson was attending the annual HITZ awards in London – an award-winning sport for change programme that uses the values of rugby to motivate youngsters to engage with education and employment.
Land Rover has been involved with HITZ since the programmes inception and actively supports the progress of the youngsters participating.
And should Solomona, who began life in England by playing league for London Broncos before breaking the Super League try-scoring record while at Castleford Tigers, continue his prolific streak at Sharks then Robinson can see him making a big impact on the international scene – although it won’t be easy.
“When you watch him play, he’s finishing and creating stuff all the time. He’s ballet dancing down sidelines and doing what he needs to do on the field,” added Robinson.
“The key thing now is to build up, get back to where he was before which I don’t think he’s far off by the way, but the problem is, that one little setback does a lot of damage.
“And when you’ve got everybody fighting for two shirts, you just go back to the start, to the back of the queue.
“And not only have you got to prove it at your club, you’ve got to prove it in training, and when you do get that chance again, you’ve got to deliver.”
Jason Robinson is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover is a key partner of HITZ, the sport for change programme that uses the power of rugby to inspire young adults. @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal