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Melbourne Storm today announced the signing of four of rugby league's brightest stars ensuring a commitment to youth in the southern capital.
Storm CEO Chris Johns announced the two-year signing of Broncos young gun Robert Tanielu as well as rising Storm stars Junior Langi, Kirk Reynoldson and Cameron Smith.
“These players will be the club's future and they have already shown they've bright careers ahead of them,” Johns said.
Robert Tanielu is a 19-year-old front rower from Christchurch who played with Brisbane Wests last year before being signed on a one-year deal with the Broncos this season.
Tanielu - known as the human catapult - represented the Queensland under 19 side last year and scored a try on debut for the Broncos earlier this year. He is an superbly strong runner and a fearsome defender, using his massive 112kg /194cm frame exceptionally well.
The race to sign Tanielu came down to the North Queensland Cowboys and Melbourne with the Storm finally winning the front rowers' signature because of the opportunity to play first grade.
Tanielu has had a long-term relationship with Melbourne coach Mark Murray - he was a Storm scholarship holder as a 16 year old - and the fact that Melbourne is significantly closer to Christchurch than the northern states made the decision substantially easier.
19-year-old Smith - who plays for Brisbane Norths and made his NRL debut in round five earlier this year -is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects on the Storm's list.
Smith has come through the ranks of Melbourne's feeder system and was highly sought after by at least four other NRL clubs. His ongoing association with the Storm and opportunity to cement a place in the first grade side made his decision somewhat easier.
The progress of Langi and Reynoldson has been a highlight for the Storm this year with both players being rewarded for the commitment and reliability they have shown this year.
Langi has impressed filling in for Robbie Ross this season and front rower Reynoldson has been a revelation since making his debut in round seven against the Warriors.
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James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]