Melbourne Storm coach, Craig Bellamy, firmly dismissed any notion of him returning to a State of Origin coaching role with NSW. While speculation swirls around the future of current Blues coach Brad Fittler, Bellamy’s name has emerged as a potential replacement. However, Bellamy’s focus remains solely on his commitment to the Storm, where he will coach until 2024. He made it clear that his priority is leading the Storm and has no interest in coaching in the Origin arena.
As the Storm prepare to face the Penrith Panthers, they are set to welcome back star playmaker Cameron Munster, who was sidelined due to illness during the recent Maroons‘ series. Despite a lack of training, Bellamy optimistically suggested that Munster’s illness-induced weight loss may have made him even quicker.
Amidst the anticipation of playing at the new Marvel Stadium, Bellamy playfully expressed concern about his players potentially getting lost due to its location on the opposite side of the Melbourne CBD. He explained that the team conducted their final training session at the stadium to ensure their familiarity with the route.
Reflecting on the Storm‘s last match at the venue in 2010, which coincided with the fallout from the salary cap scandal, Bellamy acknowledged mixed emotions despite the team’s impressive victory. He credited the players’ emotional energy for their excellent performance that night.
On the injury front, Bellamy provided a positive update on star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, who has been recovering from a significant knee injury. While Papenhuyzen is back on the training track and running, his return date remains uncertain. Bellamy expressed optimism about Papenhuyzen’s progress but admitted uncertainty regarding the timeline for his comeback.