MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 23: Will Warbrick in action during a Melbourne Storm NRL pre-season training session at Gosch's Paddock on November 23, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Once a promising Australian Rules footballer growing up in New Zealand, Melbourne Storm rookie William Warbrick is now pressing for an NRL debut.

Warbrick played in the AFL New Zealand competition for the Western Crows, where he snagged a Rising Star award in Round 1 of the 2016 season, and also toured with New Zealand's national Australian Rules side as an 18-year-old, playing against the AIS squad in Melbourne.

Following his reception of the award in 2016, Warbrick was interviewed by AFL New Zealand and quizzed on how he was introduced to Aussie Rules, his passion for the sport, and what his future footballing aspirations were.

"I was introduced to AFL by my Rugby league coach in August 2015, who told me and a couple of other boys in the team about an opportunity to play AFL in a 10-week youth competition up in Auckland and ever since October last year I have been playing AFL," Warbrick said.

"I enjoy many aspects of AFL, the open space on the field you can get as a player, learning all the unique skills required to be an AFL player such as the hand-pass, kicking, jumping, meeting new people, and just the challenge of learning and playing a new sport.

"My future goals in AFL is to hopefully be selected into New Zealand under 18s AFL team and then hopefully in the future the New Zealand Hawks men's team."

Warbrick, a multi-faceted athlete with an Olympic silver medal to his name, is "a name to watch in 2023", according to Fox League commentator Matt Russell and recently impressed in his pre-season hit-out with the NRL club against the New Zealand Warriors.

Lining up on the wing for the Storm, who have added Geelong great Joel Selwood to an on-field role for 2023, Warbick scored one try and ran for over 200 metres against the Warriors.

The Storm will name their first NRL side of the year next Tuesday, ahead of their Round 1 encounter with the Parramatta Eels.