Queensland State of Origin stars Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Xavier Coates headline the Melbourne Storm line-up to play the NZ Warriors in the Unite for Tonga NRL pre-season trial at Casey Fields on Saturday.
Coach Craig Bellamy has named a 27-man squad for Storm’s first hitout of the season, with the run-on 13 to be decided later in the week.
Munster, Grant and Dally M Hooker of the Year Brandon Smith, who will all miss the round one clash with Wests Tigers, will get valuable game time in the opening trial with Bellamy electing to go with a more experienced squad than he usually does for the first game of the year.
It will be the first match in Storm colours for Coates, who joined Melbourne from Brisbane in the off-season, and is a prime candidate for the wing spot that was left vacant by Josh Addo-Carr when he finished his time with Storm at the end of 2021.
Among those wearing the purple jersey for the first time are top 30 squad members Nick Meaney, Josh King, Tyran Wishart, Jayden Nikorima and Will Warbrick and new development list players Bronson Garlick and Cole Geyer.
The squad also includes a number players from Storm’s two Hostplus Cup affiliates, Sunshine Coast Falcons and Brisbane Tigers, who spent time with Storm over the pre-season and Storm First Nations Pathway Program member AJ Gudgeon.
The NRL trial kicks off at 4pm following the Thunderbolts’ first SG Ball home game of the season against the St George Dragons at 1.30pm..
Special Casey membership packages, including a gameday ticket, are on sale, as well as individual match tickets with discounts for Storm members.
For those who haven’t been to Casey Fields before, the ground is located at Casey Fields Avenue, Cranbourne East.