NRL: Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans has revealed that Tom Trbojevic will most likely be lining up at fullback for the Sea Eagles in 2017.
THE band is back at Melbourne Storm with inspirational skipper Cameron Smith and halfback Cooper Cronk joining Billy Slater in training for 2017.
Smith, Cronk and New Zealand internationals Jesse Bromwich and Tohu Harris reported for duty at AAMI Park on Thursday after an extended holiday following the Four Nations. And their presence was felt at Gosch’s Paddock in the penultimate session before a two-week pre-season camp in Geelong.
Standards and voices were high in match simulation with Slater marshalling the troops from fullback.
Slater was in the thick of the action, testing his surgically-repaired left shoulder at any opportunity running hard at teammates. The 33-year-old was subjected to partial contact, but spent most of the time directing traffic with constructive talk.
Returning trio Smith, Cronk and Bromwich took part in some drills but spent the bulk of the session away from the main group.
“The whole morale, the whole intensity and the whole standard has gone up another level. It’s amazing how three players can change it,” Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said.
“That’s why they are the best players in their position in the world. It’s not what they do on the field every weekend it’s what they do in the preparation leading to the games.
“What they bring off the field is really what makes them such special players.”
Ex-West Tigers flyer Josh Addo-Carr impressed on the wing and is a leading candidate for the vacant wing position left by the departed Marika Koroibete, who is now at Melbourne Rebels.
He will receive strong competition from Young Tonumaipea, who starred early last year before suffering an injury. The Victorian was then kept out by Fijian first-year sensation Suliasi Vunivalu. Versatile big man Harris also led by example around the ball.
It is just under a month until the club’s first trial game of the pre-season on February 11 against the New Zealand Warriors.