From AFL to rugby sevens, Warbrick finds league home
Rising Melbourne star Will Warbrick isn't following in the footsteps of triple-code star Israel Folau, despite a history in both rugby union and Australian rules.
The 25-year-old winger made his NRL debut in round one, coming after winning an Olympic silver medal in Tokyo with the New Zealand sevens team.
Folau started in the NRL with Melbourne before turning his hand to AFL with GWS and then finishing his controversial career in rugby, playing 73 Tests.
While Folau arrived in AFL cold, Kiwi Warbrick spent a year playing Australian rules and even played for New Zealand's under-18 side.
He also played in the inaugural season of the AFL New Zealand competition, winning a rising star award, and was interested in pursuing a pathway through St Kilda.
But he downplayed his AFL exploits, saying he has found a home with the Storm.
"Nah I don't want to follow Israel - I'm pretty happy with sticking to rugby league at the moment," Warbrick told AAP.
"I think this game suits me the best and I'm just looking forward to just trying to have a good season this year."
Given his AFL history it seems serendipitous that he ended up playing in the sport's capital anyway.
"I was actually approached from AFL New Zealand from a rugby league tournament back in New Zealand so it's sort of been like a full circle moment," he said.
"And then obviously being here in Melbourne where it's the heart of AFL it's been a pretty funny journey, but pretty cool."
Warbrick joined Melbourne following the Olympics but his progress was frustratingly stalled due to calf and quad injuries.
He entered this pre-season intent on winning a NRL berth, having adjusted from seven-minute games to playing 80 in league.
"It was a frustrating season last year as they weren't big injuries but just enough to disrupt my season," he said.
"I had a pretty big pre-season and had a goal of trying to put my hand up come round one and I was able to take my opportunity and debut."
Injury-hit Melbourne shocked Parramatta in golden point in round one and will be missing playmaker Cameron Munster for their clash with Canterbury at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Winger Xavier Coates has been named despite suffering a sprained SC joint, although is still rated doubtful.