You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy can't explain why his team has such an amazing record in season openers but he is expecting to be severely tested against Manly on Sunday.

Bellamy has never lost a round one match at the Storm and you need to go way back to 2001 to find the last time that his side was actually defeated in the opening week of the season.

That remarkable record will be tested on Sunday when the Storm travel to Sydney take on their arch rivals at Lottoland and Bellamy said his team must be at the top of their game.

"We work pretty hard during the pre-season and are reasonably fit at the start of a season, but I don’t know whether that is a factor [in the unbeaten round one record]," Bellamy said.

"It will be a great test this week, but I don’t think there is any secret other than good preparation during the pre-season.

"They are a big physical side and they are hard to play anywhere, let alone at Brookvale."

Inside The NRL make their top eight predictions

The Storm will be without Origin forward Christian Welch (knee) and reserve hooker Brandon Smith (facial fracture), while Kiwi prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona (hamstring) needs to get through training sessions on Thursday and Saturday if he is to line up.

Inexperienced Samoan international Marion Seve won the race against off-season recruit Brenko Lee to start in the centres for the Storm, but Bellamy does not expect that to be the case for the entire campaign.

"It was a pretty tough decision this week as Brenko had trialled really well," Bellamy said.

"We think there are a couple of other things we want him to work hard on, so we have gone for Marion this week.

"[Lee] is a very talented footy player and I am sure he will play a lot of first grade this year."

Bellamy is also still hopeful Paul Momirovski will land in Melbourne at some stage during the season, although the veteran coach seemed frustrated by the entire situation when asked about the likelihood of the Wests Tigers centre moving south any time soon.

It was proposed Momirovski would move to the Storm for one season in a loan deal for young hooker Harry Grant, but Bellamy didn't want to speculate on the chances of that eventuating.

"It’s been going on for a long period of time," he said.

"There has been two or three stages where it has been on for sure and then it has been off for sure.

"I don’t really want to say anything because it will probably change again tomorrow."

NRL panelists predict this year's grand final

And while the Storm's neighbours at AAMI Park in AFL clubs Collingwood and Melbourne are taking big steps to protect their players from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Bellamy said it was business as usual for his side for the time being.

Collingwood cancelled an open training session with fans on Wednesday, while the Demons have moved their AFL program almost an hour away to Casey Fields as clubs try and stop the disease from reaching their players and coaching staff.

"Some of our staff in the office have been told to work from home if they can as it is the health of our players which is the number one priority," Bellamy said.

"We are certainly taking some precaution ... but it's business as usual in regards to training and everything else."

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.