When it was discovered Israel Folau couldn't actually play AFL, and Karmichael Hunt was perhaps enjoying his time on the Gold Coast a little too much, it seemed the days of code-switching between Australia's foremost football codes was behind us. Despite the experiment failing on the other side however, it appears rugby league is still down to take a punt on AFL talent.
After former Gold Coast Suns key forward Josh Hall transferred to the Panthers in 2015, Hawthorn development player Shem Tatupu is next in line, rumoured to be joining the Melbourne Storm.
Tatupu left the Hawks last week, and Rugby League Week is today reporting the 197cm 21 year-old is set to sign with the Melbourne Storm.
Tatupu was spotted by Hawks recruiting manager Graham Wright as a 14 year-old playing rugby union, and is the son of former centre/second rower Tony Tatupu, who played for the Auckland Warriors during the '90s.
Despite never playing a game of senior footy, Shem was an immensely popular development player. A Shem Tatupu Appreciation Page on Facebook had over 800 Likes, where many optimistic Hawks fans predicted big things for the NZ-born talent.
Nothing is official yet, but Tatupu would likely fit in to the Storm in a centre or wing role, perhaps giving Storm fans flashbacks to the days of Israel Folau plucking perfect Cooper Cronk bombs out of the air.