The Melbourne Storm have confirmed the signature of Aaron Pene, who has left the New Zealand Warriors at the end of the 2022 season.

Pene becomes the second Warriors' forward to join the Storm for the 2023 season, following out of favour second row option Eliesa Katoa, who will instantly battle for a starting spot at the club.

Pene's return to Melbourne will see the prop have a second stint at the Storm, having originally debuted for Melbourne during the 2020 season.

He played just a single game in his rookie season, before adding a further nine games during the 2021 campaign for the Storm.

He then took up a one-year deal to make the move to the New Zealand Warriors for 2022, with the Auburn-born Berala Bears junior who was signed to the Storm from the Sunshine Coast Falcons' Queensland Cup programme originally in 2019 playing 14 games for the Warriors during an injury-hit 2022 for the club.

He averaged 65 metres per game and tackled at almost 94 per cent, with all but 5 of his games coming off the interchange bench.

With the Storm losing a host of experience out of their forward pack, including Jesse Bromwich, Kenneath Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi to the Dolphins, as well as Brandon Smith to the Roosters, Pene will be instantly fighting for minutes in the Melbourne set up.

The 27-year-old will bring much needed experience to the forward pack, and while he only has 24 NRL games in total, he has plenty of time in reserve grade, with his abilities suggesting he is well capable of stepping up.

Melbourne also have a track record of improving every player they sign in what is a positive turn of events for the prop.

Pene joins Tariq Sims and Joe Chan, as well as Katoa in joining the club for next season as Melbourne look to make replacements in their pack.


  1. This is another BIG signing, looking at the forward pack for 2023, I really can’t see any bigger physically or fitter than the one being put together. That means Harry, Jerome, Munny and Paps plus the others are going to get more time to play out the back, it’s going to be seriously great to watch. Truly can not see them not winning Flag. Might be a big call but with minimum injuries they will take out GF.

Comments are closed.