Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has expressed surprise over the decision of former assistant coach Jason Ryles to re-join the team. Ryles had been touted as the leading candidate for the vacant head coaching role at Dragons but instead chose to return to his former role under Bellamy.
Bellamy was delighted with the decision, describing Ryles as an exceptional coach who played a significant role in the team’s previous two premiership wins. Ryles had previously played for the Dragons on 156 occasions over a 13-year career before moving into coaching with the Storm.
Bellamy believes Ryles’ return hints at a larger role at the club, with current coach Bellamy expected to continue in his role for another season. The Storm are currently sitting in fourth place on the NRL ladder, with Ryles’ experience expected to prove invaluable in the team’s bid for a third premiership in four years.
Ahead of their clash with North Queensland Cowboys, Bellamy acknowledged the team’s difficulty in playing away in Townsville. While the Storm have a strong record against the Cowboys, having won 12 of their past 13 encounters, the 2022 fixture saw a surprise 36-6 win for the home side. Bellamy was optimistic ahead of the game, with the Storm naming an unchanged 17 for the match.
The match is set to see star players Harry Grant and Cameron Munster line up for the Storm, as well as Origin representatives from both teams. A decision on Murray Taulagi‘s concussion will be made after Saturday’s captain’s run, while the Cowboys remain determined to bounce back after a disappointing season to date.