Moeroa’s Waratahs are yet to win a game in 2021. Picture: Brett Costello
Moeroa’s Waratahs are yet to win a game in 2021. Picture: Brett Costello

Rugby union star’s shock code switch

Tepai Moeroa has defected from the NSW Waratahs and signed with the Melbourne Storm for the remainder of the NRL season.

The 25-year-old spent six seasons at the Parramatta Eels before code-hopping to the Waratahs for 2020.

Moeroa was released from the remainder of his rugby union contract and, according to his new club, will join the Melbourne Storm’s Sunshine Coast camp in the coming days.

“Tepai proved to be a very dependable player when he was with the Eels and we think he will be a good addition to our squad for the rest of this year,” the Melbourne Storm’s general manager of football Frank Ponissi said in a statement.

“He’s still in his mid-20s so he’s in the prime of his football career.

“Coming in midway through the season and changing codes will have its challenges, but we expect Tepai will adapt quickly to being back in the NRL.”

Moeroa scored nine tries in his first NRL stint. (AAP Image/Brendon Thorne)
Moeroa scored nine tries in his first NRL stint. (AAP Image/Brendon Thorne)

Moeroa played 112 games for the Eels from 2014-2019, including three finals matches. A Cook Islands international, he also appeared in one match for the NRL All Stars.

During his time in the blue and gold, Moeroa primarily played in the back row but after dropping some weight, slotted in at centre during his brief rugby union career.

He’ll have his work cut out for him in cracking either the centres or the second row at Melbourne — the Storm’s outside three-quarter stocks boast the likes of Justin Olam, Reimis Smith and Brenko Lee, while representative stars Felise Kaufusi and Kenny Bromwich appear to have locks on the two starting second-row spots.

The Storm play the Warriors for the second time this year on Sunday. Melbourne will hope to replicate the sides’ last encounter, in which Craig Bellamy’s men ran out 22-point winners on Anzac Day.

Originally published as Rugby union star’s shock code switch



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