Cult figure offers to help fellow American Silas Redd
A cult figure from the early days of the Intrust Super Cup says he is willing to lend a hand to new league recruit Silas Redd – all the way from Norway.
American gridiron convert Shelton Davis was a source of curiosity when he played for the Wests Panthers in 1997.
Raised in Miami, Florida, he helped the Panthers win the pre-season tournament and scored six tries in seven games during the regular season amid an injury-disrupted campaign.
Despite being a world away, Davis has taken an active interest in new Ipswich Jets recruit Silas Redd, a former American football player with the Washington Redskins.
Redd is yet to be seen in the Intrust Super Cup, with Jets coaches Ben and Shane Walker giving him time to work on his fundamentals before exposing him to competition.
“It’s really cool to hear he is playing and I’ll be interested to see how he does,” said Davis, now living in Sandefjord, Norway.
“I’d be willing to give him some advice if he wants it.
“My athleticism helped me, but it took me some time to learn to read the game.
“If I had someone who knew both American football and rugby league during my short time there, it would definitely have helped me develop a better understanding of my role and what was expected of me.”
Davis came to play in the Intrust Super Cup after a whirlwind induction to the sport.
He had first tasted the sport just three months prior when he suited up for a San Francisco team against a visiting Samoan side.
From there he followed a convoluted path that included several tournaments in rugby union and winning a contract with the London Broncos.
When his UK visa was denied, he came to Wests in the Intrust Super Cup through their London connection, former Test star Tony Currie.
“My best memory was scoring a try in my first game for Wests and it being the match-winner,” recalls Davis.
“Overall I’d say my experience with Wests was great and really helped me get to know the grasrrots culture of the game.
“The lowlight was breaking my hand and then trying to rush back from injury so I could keep my place in the first team.
“I had trials arranged with the North Queensland Cowboys under Tim Sheens and the Canberra Raiders under Mel Meninga, but I ended up becoming a father and movi to Scandinavia.”
Davis has since represented Norway in rugby union and is an enthusiastic exponent of martial arts.
Ipswich is expected to wait up to another month before debuting Redd.
The 26-year-old was a former running back at both Penn State and USC (University of Southern California).
He was waived in 2015 by the Washingtion Redskins after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament and medial cruciate ligament.