Trial 2 - Hostplus Team Announcement
Craig Bellamy has named a near full strength line-up for Storm’s final Trial match of the pre-season against the Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.
A 24-man squad will travel to Hobart with 13 players from last year’s Grand Final set to line-up two-weeks out from Round 1.
Captain Cameron Smith will make his first appearance of the pre-season following his Four Nations duties at the end of 2016, as will Golden Boot Cooper Cronk and Kiwi forwards Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris.
Cronk will line-up in the halves alongside Cameron Munster for the first time after Munster took on the vacant five-eighth role left by Blake Green during the first half of last weekend’s trial on the Sunshine Coast.
After overcoming a knee injury sustained pre-Christmas, NSW Emerging Origin forward Dale Finucane has been named and will get game time against his former side ahead of Round 1.
Youngsters Joe Stimson, Brodie Croft and Vincent Leuluai have all earned positions on an extended interchange bench following promising performances at the Auckland Nines and in Storm’s opening Trial victory over the Warriors.
Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said the Club is excited to be returning to North Hobart Oval.
“The people of Tasmania love their sport, we received plenty of strong support on our last trip to Hobart,” Ponissi said.
“Being our final hit out before Round 1 Saturday’s match is vital to our preparations for the new year.”
Billy Slater has not been selected for Saturday’s Trial match but the fullback continues to be in full training as the season draws closer.
“Billy is in full contact training and edging closer to a return but he won’t be rushed back onto the field until he is ready,” Ponissi said.
Melbourne Storm v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Saturday 18 February, 4:30pm
North Hobart Oval
1. Young Tonumaipea
2. Suliasi Vunivalu
3. Curtis Scott
4. William Chambers
5. Josh Addo-Carr
6. Cameron Munster
7. Cooper Cronk
8. Jesse Bromwich
9. Cameron Smith (c)
10. Jordan McLean
11. Tohu Harris
12. Felise Kaufusi
13. Kenny Bromwich
14. Ryley Jacks
15. Slade Griffin
16. Cheyse Blair
17. Dale Finucane
18. Jeremy Hawkins
19. Tim Glasby
20. Nelson Asofa-Solomona
21. Christian Welch
22. Joe Stimson
23. Brodie Croft
24. Vincent Leuluai