As Indigenous Round at AAMI Park approaches, we’re taking a look at the 17 Indigenous players that have come through the Storm pipeline, each leaving their own special mark on the history of the Club.
Be a part of the Indigenous Round cultural celebrations at AAMI Park, this Thursday as we face Manly!
Name: Peter Robinson
Played (seasons): 2000-2005
Arrived at Storm as a 24-year-old in 2000 and was a picture of consistency in the forward pack and played a crucial role in the Craig Bellamy-led resurgence from 2003. Robinson is still a part of the Storm family to this day, working as a part of the welfare team at the Club.
Name: Greg Inglis
Beginning his lengthy career with Storm as a speedy 17-year-old, Inglis showed mighty promise as a try-scoring and versatile back racking up two grand finals, three Dally M awards, a Clive Churchill medal and a Golden Boot award. Garnering the nickname, “G.I.”, Inglis has since become an inspiration to many emerging rugby league stars.
Name: Will Chambers
Played: 2007-09, 2012-19
A key centre during the Club’s 2009, 2012 and 2017 triumph, Will Chambers made his mark at Storm remaining with the Club for over a decade. Boasting a 72.6% win average during his time in Melbourne, the Queenslander is a Storm life member and one of the Club’s greats. Chambers has since switched codes, returning rugby union to play for the LA Giltinis in the US.
Name: Dane Nielsen
Arriving at Storm as a 19-year-old, Dane Nielsen soon became a regular in Craig Bellamy’s side. Going on to represent Queensland three times in State of Origin, Nielsen showed versatility, moving to play on the wing in the later stages of his time at Storm. Nielsen went on to play for the Warriors, Dragons and Rabbitohs.
Name: Sam Joe
Born in the Torres Strait, Sam Joe made his NRL and Melbourne Storm debut in Round 13 of the 2008 season against the Titans, playing two games in purple.
Name: Luke Kelly
Beginning in Storm’s U20s team, Luke Kelly impressed early going on to Captain the Club’s 2009 NYC Cup Premiership winning team. In the same year, he made his NRL debut with Storm in Round 17. Kelly went on to play for both the Eels and Rabbitohs, where he now remains as player wellbeing manager.
Name: Beau Champion
Beau Champion made his singular season with Storm one to remember, achieving eight tries in 16 games, helping the Club secure a spot in the 2011 Preliminary Final. Champion went on to play for the Titans, Rabbitohs and Eels.
Name: Maurice Blair
Maurice Blair joined Storm at 27-years-old where he went on to make 14 appearances and score 3 tries in his debut season with the Club. Blair went on to shine in the 2013 season, securing 10 tries and going on to feature in the Club’s finals campaign that same season.
Name: George Rose
The term ‘cult hero’ was seemingly invented for players like George Rose. Rose represented four Clubs across 12 seasons in the NRL, most prominently with Manly where he played 127 games before joining Storm for a one-off season in 2014. Following his extensive NRL career, the prop went on to take on the role of Indigenous Community and Player Engagement Manger with the NRL.
Name: Joel Romelo
Making his NRL debut with the Panthers, followed by four years with the Bulldogs, Joel Romelo played his final NRL season with Storm making two appearances in the 2014 season, coming off the bench in both Round 10 and 14.
Name: Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
Tom Learoyd-Lahrs played his singular NRL match with Melbourne Storm in Round 2 against Manly. With a career plagued by injuries, including during his time with the Broncos and Raiders previously, the prop retired from NRL at the end of the 2015 season.
Name: Josh Addo-Carr
Dubbed the fastest man in the game, Josh Addo-Carr became Storm’s top try-scorer in his five seasons with the Club. He now holds the record for the third most tries for the Club (96), behind only Storm greats Billy Slater and Matt Geyer. Addo-Carr is remembered fondly by the purple faithful for his time in Melbourne, constantly lighting up the AAMI Park stands thanks to his freakish try-scoring ability.
Name: Scott Drinkwater
Beginning his Storm journey within the Club’s NYC Cup team in 2016, Scott Drinkwater quick impressed playing 29 games over two seasons, scoring 23 tries. Drinkwater went on to make his NRL and Storm debut in 2018 against Penrith, scoring a try in the match-up.
Name: Nicho Hynes
Joining Storm as a 23-year-old, Nicho Hynes made his NRL and Storm debut in Round 21 of the 2019 season, coincidently in his hometown, in front of family and friends. Hynes played a pivotal role in Storm’s run to the 2020 Premiership and also was a regular during the Club’s 2021 season, playing 24 games across the fullback and five-eighth roles.
Name: Brenko Lee
After stints with the Raiders and Bulldogs, Brenko Lee made his Storm debut in Round 4 of the 2020 season. Slotting into the Centre position, Lee secured four tries in his season, going on to help the Club secure its 2020 Premiership win against the Panthers.
Name: Reimis Smith
Reimis Smith joined the Club in 2021, where he has since found a home on the wing and a regular place within the starting 17. Smith has quickly embraced life in Melbourne, scoring 15 tries across his first season and a half in purple and earning selection in both the 2021 and 2022 Indigenous All Stars squads.
Name: Jordan Grant
Debuting in Round 18 of the 2021 NRL season, Jordan Grant is the most recent Indigenous player to pull on the purple jersey. In his debut match he played 22 minutes, clocking in 57 run metres and an impressive 90% tackle efficiency.