Young Storm duo, Sua Fa-alogo and Jack Howarth, will make their debuts on Thursday night when Melbourne Storm line up against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
The pair are among a host of changes which will see Tariq Sims, Justin Olam, Jayden Nikorima, Tyran Wishart, Chris Lewis and Aaron Pene back in the line-up, covering for Cameron Munster, Harry Grant, Christian Welch, Nick Meaney, Xavier Coates, Marion Seve, Trent Loiero, Tui Kamikamica, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Tom Eisenhuth.
Jahrome Hughes is also among those sidelined this week but is expected to be available for selection next week after showing promising signs in his recovery from a low-grade medial injury on Saturday.
Faalogo shows a turn of foot
Fa-alogo will become only the fifth Victorian to play for Storm after showing impressive form on the wing and at fullback with the Sunshine Coast Falcons, crossing the line for 12 tries in 17 appearances this season.
Howarth is an Australian and Queensland junior representative player who has been equally imposing in the centres in his 16 games with the Falcons this year.
Storm General Manager Football, Frank Ponissi, said it was reward for effort for both players.
“Both Sua and Jack have been knocking on the selection door for a few weeks now,” Ponissi said.
“We see this as the perfect opportunity for them to experience the physicality and speed of NRL after spending the season with the Falcons and there is no better test than the Broncos.
It is an exciting time for the players and their families to play in one of the biggest games of the year in one of the biggest rugby league stadiums in the country. We can’t wait to see what they bring to the side.Frank Ponissi General Manager Football
“It was a tough decision to manage some of our senior players this week who have been carrying niggling injuries, but that gives us a chance to look at others like Sua and Jack who have been waiting for their chance to test themselves at the highest level.” Ponissi said.