News Release

Australian Rugby League Star Foregoes $200,000 Contract for Missionary Service


Like any passionate young man, Young Tonumaipea dreamed of working in a career that he loves. But when it comes to your career or your faith, which one would you choose?

Melbourne Storm star Young Tonumaipea, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced yesterday that he is leaving the game, teammates and fans for a two-year mission to Berlin, Germany.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the 25-year-old Storm player will be giving up more than $200,000 and the last year and a half on his contract to serve a mission. Young will be helping the team until the Origin series and flying to Berlin after game three.

When Young told club boss Dave Donaghy about his decision, Dave said, "It is a courageous decision given how hard he has worked to forge a career in rugby league, particularly as a Victorian kid.. .. I take my hat off to him."

He continues, “When you’re in a team environment, I couldn’t imagine how difficult internally it would’ve been for Young, knowing how selfless he is. As Young told me it’s the right decision for him. We are very proud of him that he has had the strength to make the decision.”

Dave Donaghy is sure that if Young wants to come back after his two year mission, he'll stay in shape and "he has plenty of footy left in him."

Young will commence his missionary service in July 2018.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.