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Gorden Tallis makes startling call amid uncertainty around Craig Bellamy's NRL future

The NRL legend believes Craig Bellamy won't step down as Melbourne Storm coach as he'd get too "bored".

NRL legend Gordon Tallis has dismissed suggestions that this year will be Craig Bellamy's last as coach of the Melbourne Storm. The supercoach has been rumoured to be considering taking up a director of coaching role at the club or even retiring completely at the end of 2023.

Each and every season it seems Bellamy's future as Storm coach is discussed, with many believing that last year would finally spell the end of the coaching great's career. However, in May last year, the Storm announced he would return for 2024, extending his time at the helm of the club beyond two decades.

Pictured left Gordon Tallis and right Craig Bellamy
Gordon Tallis says he can't see Craig Bellamy stepping down as Melbourne Storm coach at the end of the year as he believes he would get too "bored". Image: Getty

The 64-year-old refused to give a direct answer when pressed about his future beyond 2024 on Fox Sports' NRL 360 this week. But Tallis - who played under Bellamy when he was an assistant at Brisbane - says he can't see him walking away from the top job anytime soon.

"I think there’s been about five years he’s come off contract and I don’t think he can walk away. Some coaches just keep coaching, Wayne Bennett is one of those guys. He loves being around the guys, it keeps him young and they like coaching. Craig is the same," Tallis said. "I think he would be bored. No matter what he does. He just loves being around the guys and improving young men."

Matty Johns agreed with Tallis' assessment, adding: "I just don’t see it. I do not see a director of coaching role satisfying him".

"I understand from (Storm chairman) Matt Tripp and the Melbourne Storm want to keep him there, but surely there are some clubs out there that will be looking at Craig," Johns said.

Craig Bellamy's Storm look to extend extraordinary first-round streak

While his future beyond 2024 is unclear, Bellamy is fully focused on the season ahead and will be eager to start the season off on the right foot on Friday. The Storm begin their 2024 campaign against the three-peat Penrith Panthers, where they will put an incredible first-round streak on the line.

Since 2003, Bellamy has been at the helm of the Storm and to date he has never lost a Round 1 fixture. The Storm were narrowly able to keep the record last season, with a golden point victory against Parramatta in 2023.

And the NRL is clearly not trying to protect the streak. After making them face the Eels off the back of a grand final defeat the year prior, they have upped the difficulty again, pitting them against the three-peat Panthers.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Craig Bellamy and Billy Slater of the Storm celebrate winning the NRL Preliminary Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the Brisbane Broncos at AAMI Park on September 22, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Since 2003 when Craig Bellamy began as coach of the Storm, he has never lost a Round 1 fixture. (Quinn Rooney via Getty Images)

The Storm's task has been made all the more difficult as they will have to face the Panthers without star five-eighth Cam Munster (groin) and prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona (hamstring). And Johns believes without Asofa-Solomona, the pack will lack the explosiveness to trouble the Panthers.

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"Melbourne are always a heavyweight team and they are coming up against the best this weekend in Penrith," Johns said. "Melbourne have always been very good in the grind, but outside of Nelson, I thought last year they lacked explosiveness. "That’s the big question, have they got the pack to win it?"

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