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Storm opts for youth in NRL Nines squad

A youthful Storm side led for the first time by co-captains Tui Kamikamica and Sandor Earl will take to the field for this week’s 2019 NRL Nines in Perth.

The 18-man squad named today for the pre-season tournament has plenty for members and fans to be excited about.

Cameron Munster, who is the squad’s chief playmaking option, is the only player who will back up from the Storm team that last took on the Nines challenge in Auckland in 2017.

New signing Brenko Lee will make his first appearance in Storm colours at HBF Park while Jason Ryles will have the coaching responsibilities.

Young guns Marion Seve and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui will bring the experience they gained from taking Samoa to the final of the World Nines in Sydney last October, while centre Justin Olam represented PNG in the same tournament.

Storm development players Chris Lewis, Trent Loiero, Dean Ieremia, Judda Turahui and Siti Moceidreke will also get their chance to impress.

Lewis, a 26-year-old from the Sunshine Coast Falcons, is a back-rower who has played 55 matches in the Intrust Super Cup, including 24 in 2019. He is a qualified schoolteacher who taught at Caloundra High School last year before earning a development contract with Storm.

Loiero is a junior from the Kawana Dolphins club on the Sunshine Coast and has been part of the Storm Pathways program since he was 15. He played for Queensland under-18s in their win against NSW last year and will turn 19 shortly after the Nines.

Ieremia, 18, is a Victorian product who has been with the Storm Pathways program since he was 16. He played for the Thunderbolts in SG Ball competition last year and also represented Victoria in the national schoolboys carnival.

Turahui is another 18-year-old who can fill a forward role. He was signed by the Storm as a 15-year-old from Taranaki in New Zealand and came to Melbourne after attending Kings College in Auckland.

Moceidreke is an outside back who scored nine tries in 19 appearances for the Falcons last season. The 25-year-old has represented Fiji six times, played one NRL match for South Sydney in 2017 and has also lined up with Mounties and North Sydney in the NSW Canterbury Cup.

Storm’s six All Stars representatives have been rested to allow them the best possible possible preparation for the following week’s Indigenous All Stars versus Maori All Stars clash on the Gold Coast.

Melbourne have been drawn in Pool 4 with Brisbane, Manly and North Queensland.

The pool games will be against the Sea Eagles on Friday night (10.30pm Vic time) and Broncos (5.10pm Saturday Vic time).

The top two teams in each pool will advance to the quarter-finals.

The final is scheduled for 10pm Saturday (Vic time).

All matches will be on Fox Sports and Kayo.

  1. Nicho Hynes
  2. Dean Ieremia
  3. Brenko Lee
  4. Marion Seve
  5. Sandor Earl ©
  6. Cameron Munster
  7. Cooper Johns
  8. Tui Kamikamica ©
  9. Harry Grant
  10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
  11. Max King
  12. Chris Lewis
  13. Tom Eisenhuth
  14. Trent Loiero
  15. Justin Olam
  16. Darryn Schonig
  17. Siti Moceidreke
  18. Judda Turahui