You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Storm forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.

Dianne Fa'asuamaleaui simply wanted to hold her new granddaughter more than a couple of times a year.

And just like that, the doting grandfather in Craig Bellamy took all the tension out of "the toughest conversation" his towering 197-centimetre forward reckons he has ever waded into.

The Titans and Broncos are still waiting on tenterhooks for David Fifita's verdict on the $1 million-plus offer put to him by Gold Coast powerbroker Mal Meninga.

But the rebuilding Glitter Strip outfit will get an up close and personal look at their other sizable recruitment target on Friday night, when Tino Fa'asuamaleaui takes on his future Titans teammates.

Meninga's poaching of the rising 20-year-old behemoth from under Melbourne's noses put a few out of joint at the club, with the club's release statement referencing the money offered for a player who would be "competing for a spot in [the] Storm's best 17 in 2020".

The money on offer from the Titans was indeed enough to make a five-game NRL rookie's head spin.

Fa'asuamaleaui's three-year deal is understood to be worth a little under $2 million.

Storm forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.
Storm forward Tino Fa'asuamaleaui. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

But as soon as Fa'asuamaleaui explained the strong family ties pulling him, partner Jordan and their first-born Alina back to Queensland, Bellamy put him at ease.

"I was so nervous when I knew I had to tell Craig my decision," Fa'asuamaleaui told earlier this year.

"It took me a while to build up to it for sure. But Craig is a family man and always has been.

"He makes it such a big part of the Storm's culture. And we're down here in Melbourne with my family back home in Gympie, it's hard sometimes for us as young parents.

"Craig put me at ease straight away about leaving. He said 'you've got to do what's best for your family', and he's actually so good with kids, he's always asking how we're doing and how she's growing.

"You know he's genuine about his interest and that's why he's such a good coach, he cares so much.

"But [the Gold Coast move] is obviously a while away, and that's what I said to him as well.

"There's still plenty of work to do here, and that's my focus."

Having earned Bellamy's blessing, Fa'asuamaleaui set himself on repaying it straight away.

Soon after his inking of that lucrative Titans deal came suggestions the Gold Coast wanted him a year early as South Sydney pursued Jai Arrow along the same lines.

In reality Melbourne were always unlikely to release the strapping Samoan and Junior Kangaroos representative this year.

But Fa'asuamaleaui is understood to have made clear to both clubs that while he was still contracted to the Storm, that is where he would be playing.

Smith sends Fa'asuamaleaui over

As 2020 has progressed Fa'asuamaleaui has progressively played the house down.

Bellamy has steadily upped his minutes off the bench, with the big man averaging 115 metres and 20 tackles from 33 minutes a game.

His first run-on start last week against Canberra saw Fa'asuamaleaui ramp that up to 113 metres, 36 tackles and five tackle busts.

The Titans are getting a good one.

Alongside Moeaki Fotuaika and potentially Fifita, the Gold Coast are aiming to rebuild around three of the game's best young forwards.

But for now Fa'asuamaleaui has both of those giant feet firmly in the Storm's camp, where a small army of wives, partners and kids have made themselves at home with the players in Twin Waters.

"The Titans move is a real opportunity for myself and my family," Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"It's a chance to challenge myself and try and help a club build up to more success, which is something that really appeals to me.

"But like I said, that's a fair way off, and I've got a lot more to learn and achieve with Melbourne first.

"I'll always be grateful to Bellyache and all the coaches and players here. I want to pay them back for all they've done for me."

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.