The Gold Coast Titans are pleased to welcome Young Tonumaipea to the Club, with the former Melbourne Storm utility back joining the Titans on a train-and-trial contract for the remainder of the 2020 NRL season.
Tonumaipea joins the Titans after two years out of the game while serving a Mormon mission in Berlin, Germany.
The 27-year-old played 44 NRL games for the Storm after making his debut in 2014, scoring 12 tries as a winger, centre and fullback with Melbourne.
Tonumaipea also played five Tests for Samoa between 2014 and 2017.
Mid-way through the 2018 season, Tonumaipea announced he was leaving the Storm to complete missionary work overseas in line with his beliefs, but was clear in his intention to one day resume his NRL career.
Tonumaipea’s skills as a player and qualities as a person meant he was in high demand among NRL clubs for his return to the game.
He has chosen the Titans to be his new home, and will reunite with Gold Coast captain Kevin Proctor, who was a teammate of Tonumaipea’s in Melbourne for three seasons from 2014-2016.
“I’ve been away for a couple of years and have come back with all of this COVID-19 stuff happening but I’m grateful to the Gold Coast Titans for giving me this opportunity and I plan on taking it with both hands,” Tonumaipea said.
“It’s awesome to be back in Australia and here at the Titans. I’m looking forward to the challenge that is ahead.
“I’ll definitely apply myself and I’m looking for a spot at some stage this year. I’ll do my best at everything I can.”
The departure of England Test centre Kallum Watkins, who was granted a compassionate release to return to the UK, has created an opening in the Titans backline if Tonumaipea can grab his opportunity.
Already this year, Titans coach Justin Holbrook has promoted Erin Clark, Greg Leleisiuao and Jaimin Jolliffe to full-time contracts after they joined the Club in pre-season on train-and-trial deals.
Tonumaipea joins Clark, Leleisiuao, Jolliffe, Sam Lisone and Beau Fermor as new players to have joined the Titans under Holbrook for 2020.