Clash of the Kiwis
Two of rugby league's strongest New Zealand contingents will clash in Round 13 when Melbourne host the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park, Sunday 8 June.
The Roosters boast six New Zealand Internationals lead by superstar second-rower Sonny Bill Williams. Alongside Williams, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Sam Moa and Frank-Paul Nuuausala all come to AAMI Park with big game experience as last year's premiers.
The reigning premiers will travel south for the first time in over two years to face Craig Bellamy's Storm side with both outfits keen to gain an all important victory as they look to stay ahead of the pack in a congested mid-season table.
It has been seven years since Sonny Bill Williams last played in Melbourne when the barnstorming forward took to the field at Olympic Park for his then NRL side Canterbury-Bankstown. That trip with the Bulldogs in 2007 would be Williams' last to Melbourne for some time with the 28-year old not returning to the sporting capital during his time in rugby union.
Like the Roosters, Storm also hold an exciting Kiwi quartet with young forwards Jesse Bromwich, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris and Kenny Bromwich all important figures among Melbourne's rotation. All four have international experience in New Zealand camps with the youngest Bromwich brother, Kenny, the only one yet to make his international debut. Combined, the group have yet to miss a beat in 2014 featuring in all 10 matches for Melbourne.
Within the last year, the Bromwich brothers, Harris and Proctor have all signed deals tying them to Melbourne for the near future, a huge fillip for the club's endeavours going forward.
Melbourne's match-up with the Roosters promises to be one of the games of the season at AAMI Park with plenty on the line for both sides. Make sure you secure your seat and be there when the reigning premiers come to town.