20-year old Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu will make his NRL debut today at Leichhardt Oval making him the 171st player to represent for Melbourne.
Born in Suva, Fiji, Vunivalu moved to New Zealand at 16 to attend boarding school at Auckland's St Kentigern College where he played union. Spotted by Storm recruitment staff the young winger moved to Melbourne as an 18-year old where he joined Storm’s U20 Thunderbolts squad.
Vunivalu's raw talent and athletic ability impressed in his maiden season with Storm. The winger was promoted into Craig Bellamy’s NRL squad for the 2015 season where as a 19-year old he spent time playing for the Club’s U20 Thunderbolts and Storm Feeder club the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup.
Vunivalu has continued his development in 2016, featuring in six matches for the Club’s other feeder side, Easts Tigers in the Queensland Cup displaying athleticism and consistency on the wing.
Both Vunivalu’s parents have travelled from Suva to Sydney arriving on Saturday night to watch their son make his first-grade debut.
The Fijian becomes Melbourne’s second NRL debutant this year after Curtis Scott in Round 2.
Fact file – Suliasi Vunivalu (Voo-ni-va-loo)
Date of Birth: 27-11-1995
Junior Clubs: St Kentigern College
Queensland Cup 2016