Melbourne Storm's virus-forced move shrouded in doubt

Doubts remain about the Melbourne Storm's interstate move. Pic: Getty
Doubts remain about the Melbourne Storm's interstate move. Pic: Getty

Melbourne and their NRL players are scrambling to arrange their indefinite move interstate ahead of Friday night's transferred clash with the Warriors in Sydney.

Storm officials were meeting on Tuesday morning to finalise plans, with the possibility they could still be based somewhere other than in Sydney following Friday's "home" game game at Kogarah.

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Storm players were told at 5pm on Monday they would have to move out of Victoria indefinitely due to the COVID-19 spike in the state in the past week.

While players accept they must do what is needed to keep the NRL competition going and accept it is minor compared to the Warriors' sacrifice this season, it does come with challenges.

Star winger Josh Addo-Carr only celebrated the birth of his child over the weekend, second-rower Felise Kaufusi's partner Bek is pregnant with their third child while many other players also have children.

At this stage the NRL are still determining if families will join players in camp, but it appears unlikely, at least in the early stages, as they hope the stay is limited to just a few weeks.

"We've only had 24 hours, if that, to register it," Kaufusi said.

"The missus wasn't too happy on such short notice. But that's the cards we've been dealt and we've just got to take it on board.

"I've got two kids and one on the way. Just me not being around and being able to help.

"As long as my family is happy. There are a lot of boys with families here and kids. I think that's the main uncertainty there."

Queensland State of Origin forward Kaufusi said he would seek assurances over whether his partner could have external assistance from visitors while he wasn't at home.

Victorian virus cases force Storm relocation

ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys said on Monday night the call to move the Storm was made in consultation with a biosecurity expert.

He said a number of the players lived in high-infection areas, and that the league would monitor the state's infection numbers as they considered how long to keep the Storm away from home.

Felise Kaufusi in action during a Melbourne Storm training session. Pic: Getty
Felise Kaufusi in action during a Melbourne Storm training session. Pic: Getty

Players are hopeful the move won't prove a hurdle for their premiership campaign.

The Warriors have been inconsistent while in camp, however the Storm are traditionally a far more consistent team.

"This is what we have to sacrifice for the competition. I don't know if it's fair or not, but it's what we have to do," Kaufusi said.

"Will we be disadvantaged? Maybe, I don't know?

"We would love to stay in Melbourne but we just can't given the risk that is in Victoria at the moment.

"Hopefully it's not for too long. Maybe it will be two or three weeks minimum, hopefully we'll be back home before we know it."

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