Norths Devils have bolstered the forward stocks at Bishop Park with the signing of three new front rowers for 2018.
Oshae Tuiasau, Carne Doyle-Manga and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown have agreed to terms with the Devils, joining the competition for starting berths in Norths’ Intrust Super Cup squad.
Tuiasau joins the Devils from Townsville Blackhawks, where he played 22 matches last season in another step in his rugby league development.
Tuiasau, 22, had been a part of the Gold Coast Titans’ NRL and Under 20 squads, where he first met Rohan Smith – the Devils’ new coach for 2018.
“I’m really excited about moving to Norths for a bunch of reasons,” Tuiasau said.
“I’m back living close to family here in southeast Queensland but I’m also really enjoying this feeling around Bishop Park. I didn’t really know any players before I came here for the pre-season but it’s been a lot of fun so far.”
Tuiasau has played in the backrow as well as front-row and said he hoped to wear the No.8 or No.10 jersey for the Devils this season.
Doyle-Manga, 23, played in 17 matches for the Tweed Heads Seagulls last year, joining the club after a pre-season with the New Zealand Warriors. He also represented Cook Islands at Test level during a busy year. In 2016, Doyle-Manga represented New Zealand Maori.
Doyle-Manga and Tuiasa were students together at renowned rugby league nursery Keebra Park High School before going their separate ways seeking first grade berths. Doyle-Manga also stands 194cm tall and weighs 107kg.
“I was lucky enough to play (NRL Under 20s) for Newcastle and Canberra before I played at Wyong Roos,” Doyle-Manga said.
“I was rapt this year to hear from Rohan because I had almost got to play for him when he was coaching in the UK. I really want to develop my football this year – that’s really important to me – and it feels like I’m at the right club to do that. Our pre-season sessions so far have been excellent.”
Taunoa-Brown revives a Melbourne connection for the Devils – he was a junior player for Altona Roosters in the Victorian league before taking up an Under 20 contract with the Newcastle Knights in 2015. The 194-cm prop will be aiming for a berth in the Devils’ top team.
Coach Rohan Smith said the trio had begun pre-season training amid a new-look Norths squad for the coming Intrust Super Cup season.
“These players really add some depth to our forward stocks and they’ve made a good impression at pre-season training,” Smith said.
“I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with these players before at other clubs – or they’ve come to Bishop Park with high praise from key people so we’re looking forward to seeing them perform well and continue their professional development.
“All of our players are training knowing that no one is guaranteed any selection in 2018. We’ve got a lot of new faces here this year and we’ll take our time through pre-season training and into trials to see what combinations will work best for us.”
The Devils have made several key player announcements over the summer with new faces including Alex Bishop (Sunshine Coast), Jack Ahearn (Redcliffe) and Guy Williams (Sunshine Coast).
New Devils CEO Terry Reader said the club continued to attract new corporate partners for 2018 following the release of a draw which included home games on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons and two matches at Suncorp Stadium before Broncos’ NRL home games.