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Team Announcement: Round 1 v Eels

Melbourne Storm will field two players new to the purple jersey in the opening round of the 2023 NRL season against Parramatta in Sydney on Thursday night.

After impressing in the pre-season trials against the Roosters and Warriors, former NZ All Blacks Sevens representative Will Warbrick, who played last season for the Sunshine Coast Falcons, has earned his NRL debut as a starting winger and will become Storm player #225.

Back-rower Eli Katoa, who was recruited from the NZ Warriors where he played 46 matches, will be in the starting pack in his first game for Melbourne and becomes Storm player #226.

In other team news, with the outside back ranks hit hard by injuries to Justin Olam (fractured arm), Marion Seve (knee), Dean Ieremia (knee) and George Jennings (knee), Young Tonumaipea has been brought in from outside the top 30 list to play in the centres.

Thursday night’s game will be State of Origin winger Xavier Coates’ 50th in the NRL after making his debut for Brisbane in 2019.

Christian Welch will be Storm’s sole captain for the first time in his first NRL game since round one last year, with Jahrome Hughes, Cameron Munster and Harry Grant filling the vice-captain roles.

Kick off will be at 7.50pm.

Full team list

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Nick Meaney
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Will Warbrick
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Will Penisini
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Young Tonumaipea
  • Winger for Eels is number 22 Isaac Lumelume
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Xavier Coates
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Jahrome Hughes

Forwards

  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Josh Hodgson
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Bryce Cartwright
    2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Trent Loiero
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Matt Doorey
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Eliesa Katoa
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 J'maine Hopgood
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Josh King

Interchange

  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Jirah Momoisea
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Tyran Wishart
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Jack Murchie
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Alec MacDonald
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Wiremu Greig
    Interchange for Storm is number 17 Jordan Grant
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Makahesi Makatoa
    Interchange for Storm is number 19 Bronson Garlick

Reserves

  • Replacement for Eels is number 18 Jake Arthur
    Replacement for Storm is number 16 Chris Lewis

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ashley Klein
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
  • Senior Review Official: Adam Gee

Last updated:

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.

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