He’s arrived at South Sydney amongst a wave of emerging talent but for now, Tyrell Fuimaono is happy to ply his trade in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW.
The 21-year-old has undoubted potential, having produced a standout showing for the victorious NSW Under-20 side last year. Capable in both the centres and second row, Fuimano had also represented the Australian Schoolboys while starring for the Parramatta Eels in the junior grades, before arriving at the North Sydney Bears this year.
“I’m enjoying my time there,” Fuimaono tells NSWRL.com.au. “It’s all new to me – an all new bunch of blokes. The thing that’s made the change quite easy and quite smooth is the people.
“There’s a whole lot of boys coming from two different squads: you’ve got the Bears squad and some of the full-time players,” Fuimaono adds. “We’ve only been together two weeks and to put a performance together like that is pretty impressive.”
Fuimaono was one of four up-and-coming names – in addition to Robert Jennings, Braidon Burns and Connor Tracey – to be snapped up by the Rabbitohs late last year as they looked towards the club’s long-term future. While a knee injury has kept Tracey on the sidelines this season, it took just one game for Burns and Jennings to earn a call-up to the NRL after both scored doubles in their first outing for the North Sydney Bears. Fuimaono, meanwhile, remains in the lower grade but with two solid performances under his belt, he might not be too far behind his teammates.
“The guys have done well to debut, I’m happy for them,” Fuimaono says. “If I just show that I’m capable and show that I can play consistent football, hopefully I get the opportunity and take it with both hands.”
At 98kg and 188cm, Fuimaono appears well suited to the second row, but has worn the Bears’ no.3 jersey on both occasions this season. While it’s easy to foresee the St Marys Saints junior making the transition into the forward pack, he is comfortable in either position.
“No preference, not one or the other,” Fuimaono explains. “I’ve bounced between both; the whole way through I’ve kind of played between the two.
“I’m still trying to find my space but I guess wherever I get a chance – no matter what position – I’ll be happy.”
North Sydney and South Sydney fans alike will be equally happy with what they have seen from the young talent so far – most recently in the Bears’ dominant 40-20 win over the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles. The club’s next outing will be to Newcastle on Saturday, where both the Bears and Rabbitohs will take on the Newcastle Knights across the two grades.