World Cup experience has Young Tonumaipea ready and hungry to take the next step in his career.

The Samoan-born, Melbourne-raised outside back proudly donned the No.1 jersey for his country of birth in the off-season.

That allowed Tonumaipea to step into the role of vocal leader, one that he has rarely had to fulfill so far in his fledgling career.

However after six weeks steering the ship for Samoa, Melbourne Storm are now set to reap the benefits.

Tonumaipea knows that at 25 years of age it is time to seize every opportunity that comes his way.

Having done that with Samoa in the World Cup, he has returned to pre-season training this month motivated and full of confidence.

“The feeling of putting on the blue jersey is something I can’t describe. It was awesome to represent my county,” Tonumaipea said.

“It was a good learning experience there. With the different combinations I was forced to stand up and us my voice a bit more, especially playing at fullback.

“Hopefully I can use that over here at Storm.

“It is a requirement for most of us boys in the middle bracket to step up so they can help out the younger bracket. I’ve seen a few of the younger fellas train, they are looking pretty sharp.

“It is good for everyone, obviously it will lift the competition up so I’m looking forward to it.”

It is now just over three weeks until Storm host Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge at AAMI Park on February 16.

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