"We’re not going to rush him”
Craig Bellamy has made a habit over the years of helping new recruits reach new heights in their NRL careers.
The master coach now has an intriguing prospect on his hands with new signing Shem Tatupu joining the Club.
Storm announced this week they had signed Tatupu on a two-year deal from the Hawthorn Football Club where he spent the past two seasons as a category B rookie.
The 20-year-old played 22 games in the VFL and VFL Development League before choosing to return to his natural code.
The son of Tony Tatupu, who played 67 games for the Warriors, Shem has chosen Storm as the perfect place to resume his rugby league journey.
“He is a league player coming back after a few years away,” Bellamy said.
“He obviously played a lot of league as a kid, his dad was quite a famous player in New Zealand as one of the Warriors’ original players. He has obviously grown up with rugby league so you’d like to think he has grown up as a league player.
“We will put him in to play in our Feeder team when we think he is ready to play. It is a whole different game, our game to AFL, so there will be a heap of things for him to get used to.
“We’d like him to play as soon as possible but we’re not going to rush him.”
Tatupu steps into the squad as an outside back, strengthening the side’s depth in that area.
He joined his Storm teammates at training for the first time on Thursday and the Club is thrilled to have another New Zealand talent join the Club.
“He seems like a really good kid with good habits training wise, having spent two or three years at Hawthorn,” Bellamy said.
“The fact he was brought up on rugby league and has played rugby league was of great interest to us and we were glad he decided to join us.”
Storm will look to continue their unbeaten start to the season against Cronulla on Monday night at Shark Park.