Melbourne Storm’s ties with Albury Thunder will grow even stronger with two players from the NSW-Victoria border club venturing south to tackle a fortnight of NRL pre-season training from next week.
Utility back Ty Fletcher and five-eighth Mason Fuller will get to experience coaching from Storm’s football department and train alongside the likes of State of Origin winger Xavier Coates, who is in his first Storm pre-season.
Last season, Storm played an NRL trial against Newcastle in Albury which followed on from a camp in the border city during the interruption to the 2020 NRL season.
"The connection with the Albury-Wodonga area is really important to us," general manager of football Frank Ponissi told the Albury Border-Mail.
"Over the last 10 years or so, we've had a couple of trial matches and we relocated there during the initial COVID lockdown in May 2020, it's a strong rugby league area and want to stay connected and also do whatever we can to help Albury Thunder."
The move also opens the way for budding NRL players to sign with the Thunder as a way of getting 'the foot in the door'.
"With our two feeder clubs in Queensland in the Falcons and the Tigers, there's been numerous examples of players who've gone to one of those clubs with the hope of getting picked up, the likes of Nicho Hynes and Chris Lewis, so, who knows, one day it would be lovely to say a player from Albury Thunder has signed with Melbourne Storm.”