There may be elements of unknown about Melbourne Storm’s lineup in 2018 but one thing is for certain – there is no shortage of size up the middle.
The revamped Storm forward pack has purple fans excited for what may lay ahead for their team this season.
Jordan McLean, Tohu Harris and Slade Griffin may have moved on but their departures had been offset by the arrival of some fresh faces and the emergence of younger ones.
Sam Kasiano had the entire rugby league world talking a week ago when photos surfaced of the 142-game prop looking in superb condition.
His size will be a powerful addition to a forward rotation already consisting of Premiership winning Kiwi Internationals Jesse Bromwich and Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
Another welcome sight has been the return of favourite son Ryan Hoffman for his third stint at the Club.
Hoffman will be vying for the vacant spot on Storm’s left edge against players such as Joe Stimson, who will be 11 years his junior.
It is that blend of experience and youth as well as athleticism and size, that makes the Storm pack an exciting prospect this season.
“Sam has come down (from Canterbury). If he can keep putting in that base at training he’ll give himself a good position to play well and opportunity to make the team,” Storm assistant and forwards coach Jason Ryles told The Big Sports Breakfast radio show.
“You’ve also got guys like Christian Welch coming back from injury.
“On the edge with Tohu (leaving), Joe Stimson is a young guy who’s been in our system for five years and he’s 22 years old, so it might be time for his opportunity.
“We’ve got Ryan Hoffman back as well who’s got plenty of experience.
“I think big Nelson (Asofa-Solomona) might play a little bit on the edge — not start there — but play a little bit more on the edge than he has in the past.”