Titans pounce to sign homesick Tomane - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans pounce to sign homesick Tomane

By Sam Lienert 10/06/2009 06:44:42 PM Comments (0)

The Gold Coast Titans have pounced on homesick young Melbourne Storm star Joseph Tomane, who will head north at the end of the current NRL season.

The 19-year-old winger has signed a two-year deal with the Titans, lured by the prospect of being closer to his family.

The New Zealand-born teenager, who grew up in Queensland after moving there as a baby, has been keen to return to the Sunshine State since signing with the Storm in 2006.

His decision is a major blow for Melbourne, with whom he has played nine senior games over two seasons.

Tomane's potential came to the fore when he scored 24 points, including three tries, in the Storm's 48-4 thrashing of Brisbane last Friday night.

"I wanted to come home to Queensland and the Titans offered me that opportunity," Tomane said.

"The Titans are an exciting club, they've only been going for three years and they are leading the competition at the moment.

"I had a good talk with coach John Cartwright and he reminds me a lot of (Storm coach) Craig Bellamy, who is someone I respect.

"It's with some regret that I leave a winning club but I'm excited to be joining one that is equally as strong."

Tomane said he was grateful to Melbourne for helping him establish his league career.

"I've got four months left at the Storm and I am determined to do whatever I can to help end my stay here on the best possible note," he said.

Titans managing director Michael Searle said the club was excited to have secured Tomane.

"Joseph is an exciting young talent and he is coming to the Titans for an opportunity to move back home to Queensland," Searle said.

"He showed last weekend just how much potential he possesses and his signing will add further depth to our existing backline."

The Storm last year lost another young star, Israel Folau, to Brisbane, also because he wanted to head home to be closer to his family.

Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said the club was disappointed to have lost the battle to retain Tomane, but understood his reasons for leaving and believed they had the depth to cope.

"It's fortuitous that we have a number of outstanding young outside backs emerging through our system and we are more than happy with where those players are at," he said.

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