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If you wanted to order a wrecking ball from New Zealand to come to Norths Devils and wreak havoc then Stan Napa would be top of your list.

Napa came to Brisbane, won a premiership and has never gone back, loving his life in Brisbane and his Devils forever.

I sat down with Napa to talk about his great career.

Stan Napa Q&A

In 1977 you played for Auckland against Australia, England and France in warm-up games for the World Cup and won all three?

We were such a good defensive team. We beat Australia 19-15, we beat Great Britain 14-10 and France 17-0. We had Mark Graham, Olsen Filipaina and Kurt Sorenson.

How did you end up at Norths Devils in 1979?

I didn’t know where Brisbane was. I didn’t watch Brisbane or Sydney football. I came over and they laid it all out for me. They said they had Graham Lowe and Mark Graham who I knew very well from home and they would pay my rent for two years, $500 sign on and $200 a game. They took me to the Brekky Creek and to the Gold Coast so I was sold on north Brisbane.

My landlord came to see me and said your rent is not being paid so I rang Bob Bax and said my rent hasn’t been paid; it was taken care of by the end of the day. For the next two years all in one hit.

Graham Lowe... how good was he?

He was young but just understood football and footballers. I was coached by him a lot. If he wasn’t coming over here I wouldn’t have come over.

The 1980 grand final, still a highlight... when did you know you had it won?

We lost three times to the Magpies that season but we were getting closer and closer every time we played; the last time we lost 14-9.

I started on the bench which I was so cranky about. Graham Lowe went with Shane Bernadin. We beat Valleys in the prelim final and Muppet scored twice to get us home.

We were peaking at just the right time. I think the only issue we had was Muppet banging his head in a car accident. I remember Graham Lowe telling us we had dropped two balls at training during the finals.

Chris Phelan was the man we had identified to stop in the forwards.

Not Mal Meninga?

Mal Meninga wasn’t going to be my problem; he was Brian Dunn’s issue.

What do you think of Devils Mark Murray and Mark Graham?

Mark Murray - Great communicator, smart and I remember the first time I head him speak I thought I can listen to him.

Mark Graham - Would be a super star today, running freely, was just a great player. We had a special relationship. He was my best mate since I was a teenager.

Do you still have your 1980 grand final jumper?

No, I don’t, I gave it all away. My dad lived in the Cook Islands and once Mal Meninga happened to be there and my parents said 'our son is Stan Napa, will you come to our house?' So Mal came around and dad showed him the big framed 1980 premiership Norths photo. Mal signed it!

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