Ryan Papenhuyzen detail comes to light amid Sua Fa'alogo's huge NRL move for Storm

The Storm fullback's sad injury opens the door for the prodigious talent.

Exciting talent Sua Fa'alago is set to put the NRL world on notice with an extended run in the Storm team after Ryan Papenhuyzen's latest horror injury comes as the 25-year-old enters contract negotiations. Fa'alogo was electric last week in the Storm's win over the Titans having played just 54 minutes.

Playing on the wing, in the absence of Xavier Coates, the 21-year-old talent scored a try when he danced around a number of the Titans players to extend the Storm's lead. He was then forced to shift back to his favoured fullback position when horror struck for Papenhuyzen in the second half.

Ryan Papenhuyzen injured and Sua Fa'alago celebrating a try.
Exciting 21-year-old Sua Fa'alago (pictured right) has a chance to impress Storm boss Craig Bellamy after Ryan Papenhuyzen's (pictured left) latest horror injury comes as he enters contract negotiations. (Getty Images)

Papenhuyzen was in serious pain after making a kick-chase in the 38th minute. During the tackle, Papenhuyzen appeared to get his studs caught in the ground, before twisting his right ankle making the brilliant one-on-one tackle.

The Blues hopeful left the field and the next day the Storm confirmed Papenhuyzen had fractured a bone above the plate in his bad right ankle. This is the same ankle he broke the in the preliminary finals last year.

Papenhuyzen is facing around six weeks on the sideline, having only played eight games upon his return to the NRL. This comes at a horrible time for Papenhuyzen as he reportedly negotiates with the Storm over a contract extension. Fa'alogo has been named as the fullback in his place for the showdown against the Sharks. And NRL fans can't wait to see the talented Fa'alago have an extended run in the No.1 jersey.

Fa'alogo has signed a five-year deal with the Storm, which will see him at the club until the end of 2028. Many feel he could be the future of the club. This is despite Papenhuyzen returning to the form that saw him touted as a potential Blues fullback. Despite Papenhuyzen staking his claim for the fullback positiion, NRL great Billy Slater called for Criag Bellamy to find a place for Fa'alogo in the backline. Papenhuyzen's latest injury is an unfortunate setback. And it also comes as Bellamy claimed last month the club would be opening negotiations with Papenhuyzen over his contract.

Papenhuyzen is off contract at the end of next year. He would arguably be the biggest NRL name open to contract negotiations with rival clubs on November 1 if it comes to that. The club believe Fa'alogo and Papenhuyzen can both work together in the Storm system.

Melbourne CEO Matt Tripp admitted earlier this year to The Sydney Morning Herald the Storm would push the negotiations with Papenhuyzen. Regardless, the Storm fullback's injury allows fans to see the potential future No.1 play a number of games in a row.

This will give fans an insight into Fa'alago's future at the club and where he is best suited in the Storm backline. While few doubt Papenhuyzen's claim to the No.1 jersey at the Storm, Fa'alogo won't be shy in showcasing his breathtaking skills across the next few games. And he will have a brilliant opportunity to do so against the Sharks who sit at the top of the table. If Fa'alago puts in the performance the Storm know he can, Slater's call earlier this year might come to fruition for the 21-year-old when Papenhuyzen returns. Bellamy might be forced to find a way to fit both players into his team.

Earlier in the season, after round one, NRL great Billy Slater was left stunned Fa'alogo wasn't named in the side. Bellamy opted to move Nick Meaney to centre and Papenhuyzen back to fullback after he recovered from his ankle break. And after Fa'alogo found himself waiting for a chance, Slater urged Bellamy to find a position for the youngster.

"I'd be trying to find a spot for him somewhere because he's a wonderful player," Slater said on Wide World of Sports' 'The Billy Slater' Podcast. "He's just re-signed with the club for another five years, so he's there for a long period of time. I know he's been working hard in the off-season, so I think it's time for Sua to enter the NRL again."


Fa'alago worked with the Melbourne spine of Cameorn Munster, Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant during the off season as he developed his game. "It is really unbelievable for me to be playing next to guys like Munster, Paps, Harry and Hughesy," Fa'alogo said.

"I am a proud Melbourne boy and proud Samoan. My family is here and I loved playing footy with Northern Thunder growing up. To have the chance to be part of the Storm is a dream come true. I can't thank Craig (Bellamy) and the club enough for what they have done for me over the last couple of seasons and hope I can repay them on the field when my time comes."

Ryan Papenhuyzen injured.
Ryan Papenhuyzen (pictured) will miss around six weeks with injury.