Young Tonumaipea has returned to Melbourne Storm following a four-year absence after signing a contract for the remainder of the 2022 NRL season.
The 29-year-old outside back, who developed his game as a Victorian junior with Northern Thunder and played 43 NRL matches for Storm over a five-year period, resumed with the club today on a train and trial deal.
During the 2018 season, Tonumaipea left Storm with the club’s best wishes to complete a two-year overseas religious mission.
He returned to the NRL to play 10 games with the Gold Coast Titans in 2020.
Most recently he lined up for the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby competition and scored the match-winning try in their season finale last month against the Highlanders.
Tonumaipea said he was eager to make the most of his second opportunity with Storm.
“When I left Melbourne midway through 2018, I thought that would probably be the last time I’d be wearing purple,” he said.
“It’s funny how the world works sometimes. It’s done a full circle. “I’m buzzing and ready to go.”
Storm General Manager – Football Frank Ponissi said: “Young was a very popular and respected member of the Storm squad during his previous time with the club.
“I think we all hoped, especially considering he’s a junior from the northern suburbs of Melbourne, that at some stage he would rejoin us.
“After his stint in rugby, Young was very keen to return to rugby league and Storm and, at 29, he still has a lot of good footy to come.
“I know there’s going to be many members and fans who will be very happy to see him back in purple.”
Tonumaipea will be allocated to the Sunshine Coast Falcons when available for Hostplus Cup duties.