Melbourne Storm giant Nelson Asofa-Solomona is pressing hard for Kiwis test selection after a block-busting performance in last night's 20-14 NRL win over the Warriors.
The Warriors struggled to contain the two metre, 115kg interchange front-rower who helped swing momentum the way of the home side after the Warriors had shot out to a 6-0 lead after 12 minutes.
The former Wellington College First XV star showcased his immense size and power when he took the ball from 10 metres out and barged through three defenders to plant the ball down under the bar to help the Storm draw level nine minutes from halftime.
The former Junior Kiwis representative made nine runs for 88 metres while getting through 26 tackles in an impressive 45 minute contribution that could earn him a Kiwis call-up for next Friday's Anzac test against Australia in Canberra.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy was pleased with Asofa-Solomona's performance particularly in the first-half, but is looking for greater consistency from the 35 game rookie.
"Nelson started the season really well for us but over the last couple of weeks probably hasn't been where we wanted him to be," said Bellamy.
"He hasn't been where he wants to be either. But that first spell of his just goes to show what he can do and what he is capable of.
"We just need to see that a bit more consistently and he knows that and he put his hand up as well."
The 21-year-old wrecking ball is off-contract at the end of the year and after last night's showing could find himself on the Warriors shopping list as they search for a replacement for Wests Tigers-bound prop Ben Matulino.
The standout schoolboy No8 was last year in talks to make a return to New Zealand rugby and was linked to Super Rugby's Hurricanes before recommitting to the Storm on a one-year deal in August.
Both Cronulla and Manly also made a play for his services and he is sure to again attract plenty of attention from both codes as he weighs up his playing future.
A Kiwis test jumper could help persuade him to stay in 13-man game and New Zealand test coach David Kidwell must be tempted to choose him to help combat a huge Kangaroos forward pack in next Friday's transtasman clash at GIO Stadium.
Asofa-Solomona was first signed by the Storm as a 15-year-old and made his NRL debut against Manly in round eight of the 2015 season.