Player Jamayne Taunoa-Brown

Taunoa-Brown signed for two years
AuthorRichard Becht

Big prop Jamayne Taunoa-Brown has earned a full-time NRL contract with the Vodafone Warriors after impressing coaching staff throughout the preseason.
The Melbourne-born 23-year-old has been signed on a two-year deal following a hectic last fortnight.
Brought to Auckland on a trial contract, the 1.94m, 114kg Taunoa-Brown was selected to represent the Vodafone Warriors at the Perth NRL Nines on February 14-15 and then flew directly to the Gold Coast to join the Australian Indigenous All-Stars for last weekend’s encounter with the Māori Kiwis.

Just a matter of a few days later he has now claimed a spot in the Vodafone Warriors’ top 30 NRL squad.
“Jamayne had a terrific year with Norths in the Queensland Cup last year and he has really impressed our coaches and football staff since coming here,” said Vodafone Warriors recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan.
“He’s exactly the sort of player we need after losing props Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei to season-ending knee injuries.”
Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said securing Taunoa-Brown was vital.
“I can’t fault him since he has arrived and that's why we were adamant we wanted to keep him at our footy club,” he said.
“He has ticked a lot of boxes. He's a big body and very skilful.”
Taunoa-Brown’s rugby league journey has taken him through the Melbourne Storm, the Newcastle Knights and Norths Devils in Brisbane before earning an NRL contract.

With the Storm at under-18 and under-20 level in 2014 and 2015 (playing a total on 20 games), he spent 2016 and 2017 with the Knights where he appeared in an NRL trial in 2017 as well as 21 under-20 games and 12 New South Wales Cup matches.
In the past two seasons he has amassed 47 appearances in the Queensland Cup.
After playing in both games for the Vodafone Warriors at the Perth NRL Nines, Taunoa-Brown found himself in the Australian Indigenous team’s starting line-up last Saturday after initially being brought into the squad as an injury replacement.

Off the field, the big man has earned a reputation as an up and coming rapper and hip hop producer known as Yung Maynie.
Date of Birth: November 17, 1996
Birthplace: Melbourne, Victoria
Junior Clubs: Altona Roosters (Melbourne)
Position: Prop
Height: 194cm
Weight: 114kg
Previous Clubs: Melbourne Storm (2014-2015), Newcastle Knights (2016-2017), Norths Devils (2018-2019)
Rep Honours: Australian Indigenous All-Stars (2020), Perth NRL Nines (2020)
NRL Debut: Yet to make debut
NRL Career: 0
NRL Points: 0
New South Wales Cup Career: 12 appearances (2016-2017)
New South Wales Cup Points: 0
Queensland Cup Career: 47 appearances (2018-2019)
Queensland Cup Points: 40 (10 tries)

He doesn't appear to be a game breaker or x factor but at prop, those aren't the prerequisites?

Run hard, tackle hard. Succeed.


Warriors Orange Peeler
Best attacking prop in the QLD Cup last year apparently, he'll be getting plenty of game time with Bunty going down so hope he makes the most of his opportunity.
Asked two good mates about this and they disagreed wholeheartedly. Without doubt they both said independently that it was Jordan Grant.

Both said Jamayne Tounua-Brown is a good player though.

One is a player and the other is an assistant coach...
Asked two good mates about this and they disagreed wholeheartedly. Without doubt they both said independently that it was Jordan Grant.

Both said Jamayne Tounua-Brown is a good player though.

One is a player and the other is an assistant coach...
I see he was a former West Tiger under 20’s player who went to Mackay to try and crack the Cowboys squad but last season was with Redcliffe. Player of the year it looks like. Always curious when a player of his size and caliber isn’t with a first grade squad.
Jamayne Tounua-Brown's QLD cup stats reflect what he's done in first grade so far, plenty of tackles and solid metres. He sort of reminds me of Alex Twal, big unit with a good motor.

He's averaging 24 tackles and 100 metres in 40 minutes for his first 2 games, that's great stuff. I'm really interested to see the line up once/if we get back up and running. For me Katoa has locked in the second row spot (thankfully, would hate another season of Papalii/Blair plugging the spot again).

Tevaga and Paasi will be back. Both should be back in our starting 13, clearly we we're lacking attack in the middle. Papalii offers only solid defence, I can't really see much point of playing him if he's on the bench. Even Burr would offer you more impact. Then there is Curran, who is highly rated but we haven't seen much.

8. Paasi
9. Egan
10. Ah Mau
11. Katoa
12. Harris
13. Tevaga

14. Lawton/Nikorima
15. Jamayne Tounua-Brown
16. Blair. Covers all forward positions.
17. Burr/Curran/Papalii
Warriors forward Jamayne Taunoa-Brown finally cracks the big time


Jamayne Taunoa-Brown has finally cracked the big time, just when big is not supposed to be better in the NRL.

The unheralded Warriors forward scored an excellent try from a sharp pickup in the 18-0 win over the Dragons, when the NRL resumed last week.

That capped a solid outing from the 113kg prop, who cracked the 100-metre mark with his runs and played an important part in an impressive team performance.

Born and raised in Melbourne, but with strong New Zealand links, Taunoa-Brown feared he had "stuffed up" his hopes of an NRL career.

Taunoa-Brown, aged 23, was on the Melbourne Storm and Newcastle Knights' books. He ended up playing local footy in Newcastle before shifting to Brisbane, where the Warriors recruitment boss Peter O'Sullivan spotted his potential in club league.

"I was in the under-20 system in Melbourne and had a pretty decent year but I don't think it was looking anything like first grade," he says from the Warriors' base in Gosford.

"Then an opportunity popped up with Newcastle, the under-20s again, in the New South Wales Cup.

"I thought I went well, the coaching staff there were happy with me, but towards the end I stuffed things up for myself a bit.

"I found myself back in the local comp, wasn't putting my best foot forward to get a crack at the NRL. I don't think it was anything to do with the club. It was just me. I fell out of love with the game a bit.

"I didn't think the NRL was going to happen for me. Once I was in the local competition I gave up a bit. But I got a bit of a spark again and chased the dream again."

Taunoa-Brown is of Ngāti Kahungunu descent on his father Brandon's side, with a big family in Napier. His mother Jamie, from South Australia, is "half Aboriginal Australian".

He received early headlines this year via a surprise call-up to the Indigenous All Stars who played the Maori All Stars. And it helped him land a two-year Warriors contract, as the club battled a middle forward injury crisis.

Taunoa-Brown is averaging over 100 metres in his three Warriors first grade appearances but the game is providing added challenges for big forwards.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, the NRL introduced a six again rule for ruck infringements, which increased the fatigue factor.

Taunoa-Brown has slimmed down from 117kg but is still a big league unit, and says he did feel "gassed" at times against the Dragons.

"I guess it might become a bit harder for the bigger guys - we'll have to see how the rules play out," he said.

"It's definitely a lot faster with the six again rule. When defending it puts you on the back foot a bit, with teams coming through the middle so fast.

"It's good on the attacking side of things. You wrap up and go through the middle as fast as you can.

"But I don't feel too bad at the moment, being a bit on the bigger side."

He will go into the round four game against the Panthers on Friday buoyed by his form and the sharp try which set the Warriors on the road to victory against the Dragons.

"I was a bit surprised when I saw the ball pop out of (Matt) Dufty's hands," he says.

"My eyes lit up and once I got over the line, I saw the ref go up to the bunker. I was trying to think what I did wrong.

"It's been crazy the past few months, just how much my life has changed. I'm just grateful to be where I am today, and that try on the weekend was pretty special.

"I've put all my eggs in one basket, to get an NRL contract. I was in and out of labouring jobs and didn't really enjoy that to much. I didn't want to be a labourer for the rest of my life.

"I thought the NRL dream was over for me. But I guess anything is possible - if you want something it's achievable."


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