SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 31: Tino Faasuamaleaui of the Storm is tackled during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Melbourne Storm at Lottoland on August 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Big man Tino Fa'asuamaleaui is a player in high demand and midway through arguably the biggest month of his career, the 19-year-old is starting to garner plenty of attention with long-term contracts in discussion.

So far this month, Tino has represented the Australian Prime Minister's XIII, Samoa's Nines side, the Junior Kangaroos and then Samoa's Test side on four straight weekends.

At 197cm with a 115kg frame, the Storm rookie has rival clubs seeking his talents with the potential to be offered a long-term deal.

His size isn't the only thing that makes him stand out, the bleached hair is undoubtedly a talking point.

"I had to spin the wheel down at Melbourne, and I landed on shave or dye," Fa'asuamaleaui laughed.

"I left my dinner plate at the table at the Storm there, I didn't take it back to the sink, and the next day it was called out by the coaches.

"The boys jumped on it and I had to spin our wheel. The punishments can be fitness, karaoke, shave or dye, there are heaps of things.

"No way I was shaving it. It cost me about $100 at a hairdresser, I didn't want to do it at home and end up with blond eyebrows or my hair falling out."

2019 has been a crazy ride for Fa'asuamaleaui. First was the addition of baby Alina, who joined a growing family house shared with partner Jordan Ngarimu, siblings Isaac and Olivia, and Storm centre Marion Seve.

Next was his debut in first-grade, as he was presented his jersey by father Fereti (Fred) in an emotional pre-game meeting.

Fa'asuamaleaui was born in central-western NSW before he found a home up north, moving to Gympie in Queensland.

He was still in high school when he caught the eye of Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, and created a special bond.

"I met him on the Sunny Coast at the start of 2017, the Storm had a trial against the Broncos," Fa'asuamaleaui tolds NRL.com.

"I was with Broncos when I was talking to Craig, my contract was coming up. From a young age I was with Broncs the whole way, from the age of 11 or so, but when I first met Craig I was amazed, just amazed by him.

"That first meeting was nothing to do with football, it was all about me and my family, he was just a good man and talking just about life, not footy, that really impressed me.

"I'd been meeting with other clubs but that was what made me pick the Storm.

"Just the way Craig is and how he's a good person, that first meeting I felt like I had a bond with him and that drew me to Melbourne."

The Storm hope the culture Fa'asuamaleaui has bought into will keep him at the club, he is currently contracted until the end of 2020. His extension has been reported around three-years, but there are plenty of rivals circulating the big man.

He is hoping to leave all negotiations aside until he finishes play with Samoa, with an upcoming Test on November 2 against Fiji.

"I'm definitely happy at the Storm. I'm just looking to get through the season first and enjoy these rep games."

3 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder how many kids the Bronco’s have signed up from “.. the age of 11 or so….”.

    With all of Brisbane to keep under lock & key from a very early age their current plight is just plain embarrassing……

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