Make your mark: Smith
Cameron Smith has urged his younger teammates to make the Downer World Club Challenge stage their own on Friday night.
Melbourne Storm have an opportunity to be crowned the best rugby league team in the world and the skipper is determined to not let it slip through his side’s grasp.
There will be plenty of intrigue around the make-up of the Storm 17, given four players have moved in since last year’s Grand Final victory.
The Downer World Club Challenge has in the past been a place for emerging talent to come to the fore. This happened most recently in 2013 when Tohu Harris burst onto the scene with a try against Leeds in his first ever game in in the purple jersey – he then went on to enjoy a distinguished 117 game career with Melbourne.
Now another chance has presented itself on Friday night for more rising stars to come to the more.
“There’s going to be an opportunity on Friday for a couple of guys to play in their first big game,” Smith said.
“We will be looking for some younger guys to step up again.
“If you allude to players like Curtis Scott, Josh Addo-Carr, Suliasi Vunivalu, I think they are all very much looking forward to this game.
“This is now a new season, they are into their second or third year in the elite competition so they should be looking to mark their mark on this match.”
Storm’s established stars are also set to be fit and firing on Friday night.
Despite experiencing a shorter than usual preparation for this game on the back of the World Cup, the likes of Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Will Chambers will all be ready to run out onto AAMI Park.
“They have all come back in really good shape,” Craig Bellamy said.
“It is just about getting a bit of contact under their belt and knowing how we want to play this year, getting the newer players used to them and vice versa.
“That has been our focus for the last month or so and hopefully it will work out okay on Friday night.”