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Cameron Munster speaks out about Melbourne Storm boss after telling Origin move

The Storm star has called Frank Ponissi "a little rat" for taking a job with the NSW Blues.

Pictured Cameron Munster
C ameron Munster has taken a cheeky swipe at Storm head of football Frank Ponissi for taking a job with the NSW Blues. Image: Getty

Cameron Munster has taken aim at Melbourne Storm head of football Frank Ponissi after he accepted a job with the NSW Blues, labelling him "a little rat". Ponissi has spearheaded Melbourne's success as Craig Bellamy's right-hand man for more than 15 years.

He steered the club to premiership victories in 2012, 2017 and 2020 and remains an integral part of the club. The highly-respected official will join new Blues coach Michael Maguire as New South Wales searches for consistent State of Origin success.

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He will take up the position as the Blues team performance manager effective immediately. Ponissi will not only bring a wealth of experience and knowledge from his time at Melbourne but also insight into Storm and Queensland stars Harry Grant and Munster.

The Maroons five-eighth is well aware of the impact Ponissi will have on the Blues and when quizzed about the Storm boss taking the role, Munster gave a light-hearted response. "I'm sure he will go back to Madge and pretty much be a little spy, a little rat," Munster told 9News.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 21: Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans of Queensland celebrate victory after game two of the State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on June 21, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Daly Cherry-Evans, 34, a veteran of 22 Origin games and captain since 2019 will likely only have a year or two left spearheading the Maroons and his Origin halves partner, Cameron Munster, will turn 30 later this year. Image: Getty (Bradley Kanaris via Getty Images)

Grant was more serious with his response, saying the Storm manager will thrive in the intensity of State of Origin. "What Frank has brought to our footy club and how professional he is about his footy and the way he goes about his business, it's a credit to him," Grant said. "Hopefully he doesn't go too well for NSW ... I can only imagine what he'd be like in that environment."

Billy Slater looks at long-term halves options

While Cameron Munster is expected to partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves for this year's State of Origin series, the Storm star believes he has some stiff competition for his place in the side. Maroons coach Billy Slater is aware that his first-choice halves are ageing and is looking to the future, bringing young playmakers Sam Walker, Ezra Mam and Tom Dearden into the Maroons pre-season camp.

Munster admits that his spot in the side is far from safe as the likes of Mam pose some serious competition for his Queensland spot. "If I get picked - Ezra Mam is breathing down my neck," Munster said.

"I'll need to somehow try and find some form before June. I think I've got to step up a lot more performance-wise. If we played a bad game, we sort of just tiptoed around it. At the start of this year, we've put a line in the sand and I feel like I'm probably the fittest I've been for a couple of years and I'm hungry. I can't wait to see what we can do."

Cherry-Evans, 34, a veteran of 22 Origin games and captain since 2019 will likely only have a year or two left spearheading the Maroons and his Origin halves partner, Munster, will turn 30 later this year. While Slater said he is in no rush to bring about a succession plan for Cherry-Evans, who enjoyed a stellar season in 2023, he is bringing in the next wave of playmakers so they can learn from the NRL veterans. "Daly's playing as good as I've seen him play for Queensland and he's still got that want and desire to go and represent the people of Queensland," Slater said.

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Grant was more serious with his response, believing the Storm manager will thrive in the intensity of State of Origin. "What Frank has brought to our footy club and how professional he is about his footy and the way he goes about his business, it's a credit to him," Grant said. "Hopefully he doesn't go too well for NSW ... I can only imagine what he'd be like in that environment."

Billy Slater looks at long-term halves options

While Cameron Munster is expected to partner Daly Cherry-Evans in the halves for this year's State of Origin series, the Storm star believes he has some stiff competition for his place in the side. Maroons coach Billy Slater is aware that his first-choice halves are ageing and is looking to the future, bringing young playmakers Sam Walker, Ezra Mam and Tom Dearden into the Maroons pre-season camp.