Storm squad named for NRL trial on Sunshine Coast
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Melbourne Storm has named a 26-man squad for its NRL trial against New Zealand Warriors on the Sunshine Coast.
The line-up will be captained by prop Kenny Bromwich and it includes the likes of talents Cameron Munster and Suliasi Vunivalu.
But there's no sign of the Storm's biggest stars for Saturday's clash.
There was some hope renowned fullback Billy Slater would make his long-awaited return from an injury lay-off but he was left out.
Australian captain Cameron Smith and crafty halfback Cooper Cronk were also omitted; hardly surprising given their experience and the risk of suffering pre-season injuries.
The team will be guided by Storm assistant coach Adam O'Brien, who told the Daily on Monday that Slater has done enough pre-seasons to decide whether he would be ready to play.
"We're comfortable where he's at and he's comfortable as well. He knows his body and what he needs to do to prepare.”
But the trial team does boast five players who were a part of last season's grand final team, including competition-leading try scorer Vunivalu.
There will also be plenty of interest surrounding Munster's likely outing at five-eighth.
It should be his first real attempt at playing in the position after being at fullback previously.
Hooker Brodie Croft, who impressed at the Auckland Nines, has been named.
Former Sunshine Coast Falcons Ryley Jacks and Tui Kamikamica have been included in the squad.
Speedster Josh Addo-Carr is also amid the new recruits set to taste action.
The Storm's entire squad, including most of those who don't play on Saturday, will be on the Sunshine Coast.
It will arrive on Thursday, making school and hospital visits upon arrival.
Locals will also get the chance to meet the players at a signing session at 5.30pm on Thursday at the Alexandra Headland Surf Club.
An open training session will be held at 10am on Friday morning at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The NYC Thunderbolts and feeder club Sunshine Coast Falcons will also play curtain raisers on the Saturday before Storm's NRL trial against the Warriors.
The region's new national netball league team, the Sunshine Coast Lightning, will also play two trial games against the Southern Steel at the newly revamped University of the Sunshine Coast Sports Stadium. The first on Friday at 7.45pm and the second on Sunday at 12pm.
STORM: 1 Y Tonumaipea, 2 S Vunivalu. 3 C Scott, 4 C Blair, 5 J Addo-Carr, 4 C Munster, 7 B Croft, 8 C Welch, 9 Slade Griffin, 10 N Asofa-Solomona, 11 K Bromwich (c), 12 F Kaufusi, 13 V Leuluai, 14 R Jacks, 15 J Hawkins, 16 M Nicholls, 17 TKamikamica, 18 D Britt, 19 J Stimson, 20 J Olam, 21 J Turpin, 22 S Drinkwater, 23 C Galo, 24 D Kelly, 25 J Arthars, 26 L Port.