20-year Team: Wingers
There has been an abundance of entertaining wingers to have worn the purple jersey over the last 20 years.
However only two will be selected in the Melbourne Storm 20-year team.
We look at the candidates up for consideration and their incredible contributions to the Club.
- 144 Storm games (1998-2003)
- 70 tries
- 1999 Premiership player
You know you have earned the status of Club legend when they name a stand at Olympic Park after you. The ‘Marcus Bai’ Stand was a tribute to the Club’s original try-scoring machine and fan favourite. The sight of him running down the right touchline of Olympic Park as the purple army rose as one is a memory fond enough to make the hair stand on the back of the neck for every Storm fan. Bai was an instrumental cult figure who helped put Storm on the map in Melbourne during those formative years – his raw power was simply unstoppable. He left his nine siblings back home in PNG to pursue his dreams of a rugby league career. Based on his six incredible seasons with Storm it is fair to say he accomplished that goal. A player who could single handedly lift teammates and fans alike, Bai was a once in a generation winger.
- 262 Storm games (1998-2008)
- 113 tries
- 1999, 2007 Premiership player
Originally from Penrith, Geyer actually began his career in Perth with the Western Reds before joining Melbourne for its inaugural season in 1998. He actually shifted to five-eighth for the 1999 finals series and his conversion in the Grand Final sealed the Club its maiden Premiership. A terrific leader, Geyer was instrumental in ushering Melbourne Storm into its next era under Craig Bellamy and building the foundation for success that the Club continues to enjoy. A man who lives and breathes the Storm values, even to this very day.
- 105 Storm games (2004-09)
- 59 tries
- 2007, 2009 Premiership player
A player who symbolised how far you can go when you personify heart, grit and determination – all qualities that sit high on the Craig Bellamy priority list. Turner arrived from Penrith in 2004 and held that left wing spot at Melbourne for the next four consecutive seasons. He may have only been 177cm tall, but few could match the mental drive to succeed that Turner had. A quick-footed winger with an uncanny knack of finding the line from tight corners, Turner holds a special place in Storm history as part of two Grand Final winning sides.
- 52 Storm games (2007-08)
- 36 tries
- 2007 Premiership player
Has a player ever left such a mark on a Club despite playing just two seasons there? What a 24 months it was for Folau in Victoria. A scintillating debut season in 2007 produced 21 tries in 27 games on his way to being named the Dally M Rookie of the Year. He then backed up that effort by being named Centre of the Year in 2008. For those two years, the high ball to Folau was the old faithful play that seemingly paid off every time. Rarely has there been an athletic specimen quite like him, as evidenced by the success he has gone on to enjoy at a variety of football codes. His Storm highlight reel is up there with the best of any player to have pulled on the purple jersey.
- 47 Storm games (2016-present)
- 46 tries
- 2017 Premiership player
We said you have rarely seen a winger quite as athletic as Israel Folau but this man is the Storm second coming. In two NRL seasons he has topped the competition’s try-scoring list on both occasions. Vunivalu possess a freakish ability both in the air and on the ground and there are fewer better sights in modern rugby league than seeing the 22-year-old in full flight. His try-scoring record speaks for itself, nearly one per game. Vunivalu sent NRL heads into a spin after his outstanding 2016 debut season that yielded 23 tries. Some wondered whether the second-year blues would creep in but those doubts proved way off the mark with the Fijian Flyer crossing the line another 23 times last season. Re-signed for another three years, there is plenty of scope for Vunivalu to become arguably the greatest finisher this Club has ever seen.