Player Aaron Pene

Vodafone Warriors sign Storm prop Aaron Pene
Aaron Pene.jpeg

The Vodafone Warriors have boosted their depth in middle forwards by signing Melbourne Storm front rower Aaron Pene on a two-year deal from next season.

A late developer at first-grade level, the 25-year-old made his NRL debut last year and has been in the Storm’s game day squad for their last three games.

Vodafone Warriors head coach Nathan Brown said Pene’s exposure to Melbourne’s renowned culture would be invaluable for the club.

“Aaron has been in a great system for the last couple of years so he’ll bring some good experience from a top team to our club,” he said.

“He’s got great leg speed and power and he’s now getting an opportunity to establish himself in Melbourne’s NRL squad this season. The modern game suits Aaron down to the ground.”

Of Samoan heritage, the 1.90m, 107kg Pene initially came through Parramatta’s under-20s in 2015 and 2016, had a stint at Penrith and has played in the New South Wales Cup and the Intrust Super Cup while he also had a year off playing park football.

“Aaron’s a late bloomer and we are very excited to have him onboard and welcome him to the club. He’ll fit into our culture really well,” said Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George.

“Having Aaron join us is more good news for our members and fans. We’re building well for 2022 and beyond.”

Picked up by Melbourne midway through the 2019 season while playing for the Central Queensland Capras in the Intrust Super Cup, Pene was added to the Storm’s NRL by the end of the year.

“It’s a case of second time lucky for us with Aaron,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.

“We attempted to get him in 2019 but didn’t have a spot available at the time and he went to the Storm so it’s great to get him on board this time.

“He’s been a standout in the Intrust Super Cup and we look forward to seeing him progress to the NRL on a permanent basis. He possesses all the tools to be an extremely valuable player in the NRL and comes from a great system.”

Pene has been with Melbourne’s feeder club the Brisbane Tigers since 2019. In six games this season he has averaged 130 metres a game.

He made his NRL debut against the Dragons last September, was 18th man for the Storm in their 11th-round match against Canberra last month (but didn’t get on the field) before being used off the bench against Brisbane and Gold Coast in the club’s last two matches. In 33 minutes against the Broncos he made 128 metres from 11 runs with five tackle breaks.


Born: September 26, 1995
Birthplace: Auburn, NSW
Junior Club: Berala Bears (New South Wales)
Position: Prop
Height: 190cm
Weight: 107kg
NRL Debut: Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons, Netsrata Jubilee Oval, Sydney, September 27, 2020 (Round 20)
NRL Games: 3 (2020-2021)

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1st Grade Fringe
May 18, 2012
A thought…

If Pene that good, why didn’t the Storm keep him?

Just asking for a friend
because they very well know they will pluck someone out of nowhere who will do the same job if not better. On top of that they will pay them less.


1st Grade Fringe
Mar 22, 2014
A thought…

If Pene that good, why didn’t the Storm keep him?

Just asking for a friend
For all we know they did want to keep him.
Signed out of Q Cup after a stint playing in nowheresville before that. Pene would have been on the minimum as Storm's cap would constantly be under pressure (yeah yeah I know they don't actually have a cap but you know what I mean).
Pene and his manager would have been looking for an upgrade for sure and with Jordan Grant also coming into the mix and also likely on the minimum plus their established middles taking up big cap space it probably just made sense for player and club to part ways and keep developing Grant who looks a quality player in the making.
It's a business and people all to often forget that just because a player moves on it doesn't mean they weren't wanted or liked.
Or maybe Pene wasn't much into boats and his mrs didn't like jewelry so there wasn't much wiggle room for the Storm to offer anything :cool:
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