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Storm Coach Craig Bellamy has explained skipper Cameron Smith is still battling a virus in the lead up to Friday night’s Qualifying final.

The captain was absent from the NRL Finals launch on Monday due to illness with Bellamy refuting reports suggesting otherwise on Wednesday morning.

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“He’s not so well actually, he’s missed both of our training sessions this week,” Bellamy said.

“He walked in yesterday, came to one of our meetings and then we sent him home. He looked like death warmed up to be quite honest.

“I know he copped a bit of criticism about Monday but he’s genuinely crook.

The Storm coach is hopeful his skipper’s condition will improve enough to take the field on Friday night.

“We’ll certainly give him up until the last minute without a doubt. Whether he will come to Sydney with us tomorrow I’m not quite sure,” Bellamy said.

“We’re thinking with another day off today he should come up better.”

Storm face the red hot Roosters on Friday night who claimed their third straight minor premiership following victory over South Sydney in Round 26.

“They’ve been the benchmark team for three years in our competition,” Bellamy said.

“To win the minor premiership three years in a row is a great effort.

“Obviously their form especially in the last month has been outstanding.

“It’s a huge challenge for us but we’ve been in reasonably good form the last couple of weeks and hopefully we can keep that up.”

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