Young Tonumaipea staying with the Melbourne Storm for two more years
Young Tonumaipea Naparrazi, Creative Commons

Victorian Young Tonumaipea is re-signing with the Melbourne Storm, allowing him to stay with the team until the end of 2018.

According to the Storm official website, Tonumaipea’s contract has an option for an additional year to follow, allowing him to stay until 2019. The utility outside back is a local success story who became a member of the Storm after graduating from the Club’s developmental program. He is the second of three Victorian players to play for the Storms.

Tonumaipea, 23, played 28 games for the Storms after his debut in 2014. He has shown his versatility this season, playing the first six games on the wing before lining up at the centres. He recently played as a fullback, where he impressed in the last three games.

Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said that securing Tonumaipea was an important step forward for the Club.

“Before Young got injured in Round 8 against the Warriors he was our best outside back by far, he was our most consistent player,” he said.

Ponissi also said that Tonumaipea’s utility role is valuable for the team moving forward.

“He can play on the left and right wing as well as fullback and center which is really important in the modern game,” he said.

Aside from the youngsters game, Ponissi also praised Tonumaipea’s role in providing inspiration to kids coming through the National Rugby League (NRL) Victoria system. He said that Tonumaipea is proof that Melbourne kids can come through and be a member of the Storm.

Aside from the Victorian, the storms also signed Vincent Leuluai from the Sydney Roosters and Justin Olam the Papa New Guinea winger. Both players are also signed until the end of 2018.

Foxsports reports that Tonumaipea, a big improver for the Club in 2016, is the important signing for the team.

The young utility outside back is expected to play a key role in the Club’s assault on the NRL premiership this year.