Storm explain resting as Broncos brace for Papenhuyzen

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

Melbourne will be without 11 of their best players in Thursday night's NRL clash but Brisbane are not underestimating any side that contains star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen.

Nine regulars have been rested by the Storm while the injured Jahrome Hughes (knee) and Harry Grant (shoulder) will also be absent from the clash at Suncorp Stadium.

 "It was a big decision but like a lot of clubs we have a lot of players carrying niggly injuries at this stage of the season," Storm general manager of football Frank Ponissi told AAP.

"For a big game they would play, and they have done over the last few weeks because we have had to win.

"You don't get too many opportunities where you can have a rest and totally freshen your players up.

"The second reason we've done it is that 17 players won't win you this premiership. You need 20 to 22 players to win you a premiership, if not more.

"We have half a dozen players vying for a position in the 17 or in that 18-22 area. To be able to give them a high quality game at the back end of the season is an enormous boost for our preparation."

Reimis Smith and Justin Olam have been given recalls and both want their centre positions back.

"And you've got players like Tariq Sims, Tepai Moeroa, Alec MacDonald all vying for one or two spots on the bench, and when needed in the finals will have got a good run under their belts," Ponissi said.

The Storm are in fourth position and cannot finish any lower than that.

They want to give themselves the best chance of winning in week one of the finals with a full-strength squad so they can host a preliminary final in Melbourne.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy said it would be "a good idea" for the NRL to adopt the AFL system of a week off before the finals.

"Having that week off before finals would be a way of having more players in the last round," he said.

Brisbane captain Adam Reynolds will miss Thursday's clash with a calf injury. He said the Broncos must stop Papenhuyzen who is playing his second game back after a lengthy recovery from a broken kneecap.

"When he is fit and healthy he is one of the best players in the game and it was a good sight to see him back on the field," Reynolds said.

"He has worked extremely hard in the background to get back where he is. It is a credit to him and he only strengthens their team up. 

"He has performed on the biggest stage and we have got to make sure we do our game-planning."

Flying outside back Sualauvi Faalogo and second-rower Jack Howarth make their NRL debuts off the bench for the Storm and Ponissi said they had "brought genuine excitement into the squad".