Young Tonumaipea is set to become the second Victorian player to celebrate 50 Melbourne Storm games when he takes the field to face the Raiders at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
It’s been quite a journey for Tonumaipea, beginning his footy career as part of Storm’s S.G. Ball Cup in 2009, before graduating the NYC team for 2011 and 2012 seasons where he would win Melbourne’s NYC Player of the Year award.
The now 30-year-old had a dream start to his NRL career, debuting in Round 1 of 2014 against rivals the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, followed by securing his first try in front of a home crowd at AAMI Park in Round 3.
The Northern Thunder junior went on to be selected to represent Samoa in the 2014 Pacific Rugby League International. He continued his representative career, pulling on the blue and white jersey once again, in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
The Victorian was also selected in Storm’s Auckland Nines side in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 where he was co-captain alongside Kenny Bromwich.
2018 saw the Samoan international announce his departure from the Club to complete a two-year mission, following his faith.
Tonumaipea returned to first grade through a stint with the Gold Coast Titans, clocking in 10 appearances for the Queensland team, before heading home to the southern state to play two seasons of rugby union with the Melbourne Rebels.
A text to Storm head coach Craig Bellamy saw the winger rejoin Storm mid-way through the 2022 season on a train and trial contract, before upgrading to full-time once again this season.
Securing five appearances and three tries since returning to the purple jersey, Tonumaipea is a welcome (re)addition to the Melbourne side.
59 NRL games
49 Storm games
4 Rugby League World Cup matches for Samoa
5 Test matches for Samoa