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Exiled Storm monster set for shock code switch

Wide World of Sports logo Wide World of Sports 3 days ago WWOS staff

Exiled Melbourne Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona is reportedly set to leave the NRL to play rugby in the Japanese League One competition ahead of the 2023 season.

According to Fox Sports, the two-time premiership-winning prop will join the Panasonic Wild Knights, who are coached by former Wallabies mentor Robbie Deans.

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The 2-metre tall, 130kg has been forced to look elsewhere after being locked out of the Storm because he is unvaccinated, with laws in Victoria stating all players need to be vaccinated.

a close up of a man holding a ball: Nelson Asofa-Solomona of the Storm is tackled during the round 25 NRL match against the Cronulla Sharks © Getty Nelson Asofa-Solomona of the Storm is tackled during the round 25 NRL match against the Cronulla Sharks

The Storm have tried to contact the 25-year-old over the past few months but haven't managed to resolve the matter.

Video: Hynes fitting in to new Sharks role (Wide World of Sports)


"I'm very hopeful 'NAS' will come back," Storm captain Jesse Bromwich said last month.

"He's a powerful man and a big part of our team.

"A lot of us boys care deeply for him and I've tried to reach out to him, but I didn't get anything back.

"I know he's got his beliefs around vaccination and it's up to him, but we really want him to come back, so hopefully the matter resolves itself soon."

Japan's law is free of such rules regarding vaccination, which could be a hub for players avoiding vaccination.

Asofa-Solomona, was a star in New Zealand rugby as a teenager, playing No.8 and second-row for Wellington College. He was one of the hottest prospects in New Zealand before joining the Storm.

Rugby Australia are keeping a close eye on his movements and could yet offer him a short-term deal.

But it's understood will not break the bank to try and sign him for one season.

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