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Storm troopers: Opening round masters make the move north

Sandor Earl, who "flogged" Storm CEO Dave Donaghy through a personal training session in one of their first meetings, says Melbourne's professional culture will make them premiership front-runners again as they relocate to Albury.

The Storm have confirmed a 50-strong contingent of players and staff will shift across the NSW border this week to resume group training due to Victoria's strict coronavirus laws.

Players were briefed on biosecurity measures at AAMI Park on Monday and will now effectively lockdown in a setup Donaghy said was "unlike any camp the club has ever done previously".

Melbourne's season-opening win over Manly before the COVID-19 shut down was the club's 18th round one win of Craig Bellamy's tenure at the club.

Storm back to training on Wednesday

As a qualified personal trainer, Earl took it upon himself to crack the whip with teammates over the last six weeks and says Bellamy is expecting to hit the ground running when come May 28.

"If you take the right approach to this time, the moment we get back into training, we should be ready to go," Earl told NRL.com.

"Bellyache's message was along the lines of, 'if we do this period right, it could potentially be an edge for us as a team as we're trying, like everyone else, to win the comp'.

"It's a culture thing here and you're not part of the Storm unless you buy into it.

"And I think that'll speak volumes when we're eventually playing.

The moment we get back into training, we should be ready to go

Storm winger Sandor Earl

"Bellyache wants to hit the ground running like he always does, he's not prepared to give away any games. That's just the Storm approach and it's cool to be a part of it."

Melbourne players will travel separately to Albury for Wednesday's return to training, with two trucks loaded down with training gear also heading north to meet them over the border.

Players will bunker down in Albury throughout the week before returning to Melbourne to be with their families on weekends.

Kiwi international Brandon Smith has only just been released from his 14-day hotel quarantine, but is set to return to a similar environment in Albury where players will have next to no contact with the general public.

In Earl's case, the NRL's stringent COVID-19 protocols have seen him draw on his training experience, which saw him put Donaghy through his paces – "basically I just flogged him" – when he first signed with Melbourne.

"I was probably busier throughout this period than I normally am," he said.

"The F45 gym I own has been transferred online, I've been pumping out a little podcast too, it's the best way to get through it.

Papenhuyzen ready to come back

"My position within the club is a bit unique. I'm lucky enough to be in the leadership group but it's a pretty stacked leadership group when you look at it.

"Me personally, I'm in a bit of different position rugby league wise so I try and use my experiences and I guess attitude towards discipline and work ethic, I try and provide a bit of influence to some of the other guys.

"If there's something you can work on in this period without games and improve it, then it's potentially an edge when we get back.

"Whether its showing guys how I'm going about something or getting them on the paddock, it's been a unique opportunity."