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Storm forward changes nations overnight


“It’s been pretty interesting being in both jerseys,” Faasuamaleaui said.

“I’m really happy I’ve been able to represent both cultures and both nations, both my mum [with Australia] and dad’s [with Samoa].

“It’s been a big honour to do that.

“[Kangaroos coach] Mal [Meninga] and [Samoa coach] Matt [Parish] both supported it, they were happy for me to do both as long as I was happy with it.”

Born in central-western NSW, Faasuamaleaui moved to the rural Queensland town of Widgee as a youngster and grew up playing his football in Gympee.

His father Fereti was a Sydney Roosters reserve-grader in the mid 1990s with proud Samoan heritage.

“I actually grew up in a town where it was just my family who were Samoan,” the 19-year-old second-rower said.

“But I was always around it, whenever we had Samoan independence day down in Brisbane me and my family would always drive down and get around the culture.

“I have so much family everywhere, down in Brisbane, New Zealand and in America and everywhere. They all support me.”

After playing five games for Melbourne this year, the teenager will line up alongside the likes of Kalyn Ponga, Angus Crichton and Victor Radley against France in Wollongong on Friday.

“It’s going to be amazing, have you seen this team? Far out,” he said.

“Before I debuted and even now I still look up to these fellas.

“The likes of Kalyn Ponga, there are a fair few players in there.

“It’s going to be a pretty amazing week and game on the weekend. Especially in the green-and-gold jersey.”

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