When the experienced boys are away its time for others to pave the way.

That will be the focus of Storm’s pre-season with the upcoming World Cup to see a large portion of the playing squad make a late return to the Club.

Melbourne will have 11 players from their 2018 squad feature in the tournament, meaning they will start summer training throughout at various stages of January.

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Of the 17 who were part of this year’s premiership team only Josh Addo-Carr and Curtis Scott will be present when pre-season gets underway in November.

That does present a significant challenge however it also brings forward an even greater opportunity.

With the experienced, more vocal leaders not around for the first two months of the summer there will be an invaluable chance for the squad’s young talent and emerging leaders to step up and take control.

The likes of Joe Stimson, Brodie Croft, Ryley Jacks, Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith will all be hungry for more NRL opportunity next year.

The beginning of pre-season will be the ideal chance to stake their claims from the outset.

“It’s a real chance for them (young players) to put their hand up and demonstrate, obviously we know they’ve got ability, but their off-field leadership skills,” Storm CEO Dave Donaghy told the Herald Sun.

“I think it can be a good thing that some of the bigger personalities might not be there for the early stages of preseason ... hopefully really take ownership of the program prior to Christmas.”

Read the full story in the Herald Sun.