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Tino wouldn't dare let mates down in final Storm season

Rising star Tino Fa'asuamaleaui is confident living up to his pledge to make his teammates proud will help ensure his final year in Melbourne is a successful one.

Fa'asuamaleaui signed a lucrative deal with the Titans last year and will depart the Storm at the end of their 2020 campaign to move back to his home state of Queensland and be closer to his family.

While many 20-year-olds are happy to cruise along and think about what lies ahead, he approaches things in a much different manner and is working even harder to leave the Storm on a high.

"One of my goals this year is to make all the boys proud," he said.

"I want to show them that I want to finish on a good note and play hard football and earn their respect."

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Fa'asuamaleaui made his NRL debut in round 16 last year, but showed enough in five appearances off the bench to be snapped up on a three-year deal by the Titans.

He ran for 139 metres during the Storm's opening-round victory over the Sea Eagles and backed it up with another impressive performance against the Sharks a week later.

"There are a lot of things I want to improve," Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"Defence is a really big thing at the Storm and I want to knuckle down and get some confidence from Craig [Bellamy] and the coaching staff.

"There is a lot of pressure [from the other forwards], but it is good pressure as it motivates me and keeps me on my toes and training harder."

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And if Fa'asuamaleaui continues to improve there is the carrot of more representative football awaiting him in the coming years should his upward curve maintain its current trend.

While Fa'asuamaleaui was born in the NSW country town of Orange, he was brought up in Queensland and has already represented the Maroons at junior level.

At the end of last season, he played for the Australian Prime Minister's XIII, turned out for Samoa at the World Cup 9s and also represented the Junior Kangaroos.

"It has always been a goal [to play Origin for Queensland]," Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"But my main aim for this year is to cement myself in the 17 [at the Storm] and stay healthy."

His Maroons hopes will be boosted if perennial contenders Melbourne make their usual playoff run.

State Of Origin football will head into new territory in 2020, with the three-game series to be held at the end of the finals and over three consecutive Wednesday nights in November.

The first Origin showdown is scheduled for November 4 and just 10 days after the Telstra Premiership decider, meaning some players will head straight into Origin camp just days after playing in a grand final.

Conversely, representative players that feature for clubs that don't make it into the post-season won't have played a competitive match for over a month and NSW forward Dale Finucane thinks this will be telling during Origin.

He doesn't intend to be one of the Origin hopefuls who would need to continue training during October to ensure they were ready if selected.

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"It is hard to replicate that match specific style of play while you are not playing."

Finucane made his Origin debut in the second match of the 2019 series and was one of five Storm players that featured as the Blues registered a 38-6 triumph in Perth.

Storm teammate Cameron Munster was on the other side of the field during that contest, with the Maroons playmaker moving to fullback for the series decider with Kalyn Ponga sidelined through injury.

"We have lost the last two series so there is a lot of pressure on us and we have got to make sure we deliver this year," Munster said.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.