A very proud moment
Melbourne Coach Craig Bellamy believes it will be a very proud moment for the club when Young Tonumaipea becomes the second Victorian to play for Storm on Saturday.
Tonumaipea has been named on the left edge alongside fellow Victorian Mahe Fonua after progressing through the club's development system via the U18s and U20s.
"He played really well in the trials, especially against Canberra in the first trial here. He played really strongly," Bellamy said.
"He has earned his spot, he's had a really good pre-season and as I said he played great against Canberra and he was quite strong against the Bulldogs.
"Its a real buzz for our club, especially in the development area. He's our second born and bred Victorian to play NRL following on from Mahe, so its a really proud moment for him, a really proud moment for our club.
"I'm sure he'll go out there and give a good account of himself on Saturday night."
Three days out from Storm's season opener against rivals Manly, Bellamy admitted there is still work to do before Saturday, also acknowledging the excitement in the group before their first match of the year.
"We've still got a couple of guys to check on injury wise," Bellamy said.
"Ryan Hinchcliffe is one, he hurt his ankle against the Bulldogs and hasn't done any training at all. We'll see how he is on Friday.
"Everyone is happy that footy is back, its always an exciting time at the start of the year so we're all really looking forward to it. Hopefully we can perform well."
Despite not playing any part in Melbourne's trial matches throughout pre-season, the coach is confident Billy Slater will be prepared for the intensity of a competition game on Saturday.
"He's played a lot of footy over the years so he's going to pick it up pretty quickly," Bellamy said.
"He's done all our training over the last two of weeks so we think he's as good as he can be.
"We would have liked him to play half a game in one of the trials but that wasn't to be so that's the way it is. He's played plenty of footy so I'm sure he'll get into the swing of things pretty quickly."