Former Wallaby Tomane to play for Broncos on NRL quest

Joel Gould |

Former Wallaby Joseph Tomane will play in a trial for the Broncos, 13 years after leaving the NRL.
Former Wallaby Joseph Tomane will play in a trial for the Broncos, 13 years after leaving the NRL.

Former Wallabies outside back Joseph Tomane will play for Brisbane against Manly in a trial on Saturday with a burning desire to secure an NRL contract for the first time in 13 years.

The 34-year-old last played in the NRL in 2011 for Gold Coast before embarking on a successful rugby union career where he played 17 Tests and 68 games of Super Rugby for the ACT Brumbies.

Tomane, who played 32 top-grade games in the centres and on the wing for Melbourne and the Titans, has signed with Souths-Logan in the Queensland Cup this year to play under dual-international Karmichael Hunt.

The veteran has signed a one-game deal with the Broncos for the Sea Eagles pre-season clash while the top 22 are in the US ahead of the round-one contest with South Sydney. He doesn’t want it to be the last.

“The desire is always there to be in the NRL but I am just taking it one step at a time,” Tomane told AAP.

“I’ve got a big season with Souths-Logan ahead and my main focus is to try and crack that squad first and play consistent footy.

“It is unbelievable to play for the Broncos. I didn’t think it would happen so soon. I wasn’t sure it would happen at all. I was just hoping and praying this opportunity would come.

“I always felt like I wanted to come back to rugby league. I missed the game while I was away and always kept in touch with the NRL. I love the game and I am enjoying it at Souths-Logan Magpies.”

Joseph Tomane gets away from Mat Rogers.
Joseph Tomane avoids Mat Rogers during an NRL clash for Melbourne against the Titans in 2008. (Colin Whelan/AAP PHOTOS)

The Brisbane-raised Tomane said Hunt was the ideal mentor for him. The 2006 premiership-winning Bronco started his professional career in league and transitioned to rugby union where he also represented the Wallabies before finishing his career at Brisbane.

“Karmichael has been awesome for me and is probably the perfect guy for me to have,” Tomane said.

“He went through this period himself and I have been able to pick his game about transitioning back.

“With the football he keeps it really simple for me and makes sure I don’t over-complicate things.

“Now I am transitioning back I could fall into that trap.

“As a man he is a great bloke and father. I am a father myself and it is always good to have personal role models. He is really good for the Souths-Logan squad.”

Tomane said he “had a little opportunity” to sign with Brisbane when he was younger but went to the Storm.

It has been a remarkable journey for Tomane who has played rugby union all over the world for various clubs.

“It has been incredible. I am truly blessed,” he said.

“It is just nice I am back home. Even though it is just one game at the moment, it is just nice to play for the town I grew up in.”