Melbourne Storm thrilled with three Kiwi teens

DAVID LONG
Last updated 05:00 28/07/2013

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Junior Storm coach Anthony Seibold says the club will continue its relationship with Wellington Rugby League to pick up some of the best young players from the lower half of New Zealand.

Nelson Asofa-Solomona is the next young gun to secure with the NRL champions, the 17-year-old Wellington College star moves across the Tasman later this year.

Also heading to the Storm is Scots College first XV skipper Eli Vole, while talented St Pat's Silverstream prop Joe Apikotoa, is another Storm recruit.

"For the last four or five years there has been a positive relationship with Wellington Rugby League and all of the coaching staff have been over there at some stage," Seibold told Sunday News.

"Every December we run a programme there. I'm sure that this relationship is going to be crucial for us to identify some young talent and then bring them across to the Storm and get them involved in our programme here.

"But we do think it's important for them to finish school first and with Nelson, he needs to concentrate on that.

"When he comes across to Melbourne there will be a transition period, but physically he's got gifts that not many men have."

Some of Australian NRL clubs have a poor track record in how they treat young Kiwi players, but the Storm have proved to be one of the better clubs.

"Using Tohu Harris as an example," said Seibold.

"He came through the system in our under 20s, he's 21 now and has played for his country this year and is in the first grade team every week, so there is a success story.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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