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Storm may be more than two and a half months into pre-season training but only now do they have their full compliment of players back on deck.

Up until last week, the playing group was missing 829 games of NRL experience.

Billy Slater, Will Chambers and Cameron Smith had delayed returns due to their World Cup commitments however do not think for a second their teammates dropped standards in their absence.

With the experienced trio missing, Storm’s other leaders stepped to fore and steared the ship for the playing group through what is always a gruelling pre-season in Melbourne.

It has left the coach extremely pleased about where is side is placed, five weeks out from Round 1.

“I’ve been really happy with our emerging leaders and what they’ve done,” Craig Bellamy said.

“They’ve helped the young guys settle in but have also made the young guys aware of what their responsibilities are and what we expect. They have been really good at driving those standards.

“Jesse Bromwich has been wonderful, Dale Finucane, Tim Glasby, they have led the way and we’ve got a few guys in our emerging leaders also.

“Without those other guys (Slater, Smith and Chambers) being there early, those other guys have really helped.”

Storm will play a closed trial match against Newcastle next week in preparation for the World Club Challenge at AAMI Park on February 16.

The team spent the last two weeks in Geelong for their annual training camp.

“It was really hectic down there, quite isolated but we found it really good,” Bellamy said.

“The guys got to know each other a lot better. We’ve got plenty of new guys, about 11 or 12, so that was good but also the intensity of training was pretty high for two weeks.

“The players saw the benefit of it as well so hopefully we will see those benefits in the next two weeks.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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