Storm favour Sunshine Coast NRL base

Daniel Gilhooly
The Storm hope to use Suncorp Stadium for their 'home' games following their COVID-19 relocation

Melbourne Storm are anxious that Sydney doesn't become their NRL base from next week, because they don't want to give a leg up to arch rivals the Sydney Roosters.

Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy said his club has a preference to be located on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and hoped they'd learn their fate on Friday, ahead of their match against the Warriors, which was moved from Melbourne to Sydney following the spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

They must stay out of Melbourne for at least two further weeks while the health situation is monitored there.

The club's close association with the Sunshine Coast made the shift appealing, Donaghy said, and there was also a competitive motivation.

Melbourne have a home game against the red-hot defending premier Roosters next Thursday and would far prefer they play them at Suncorp Stadium - which would be their Queensland home venue - rather than at a ground in Sydney.

"At the end of the day we're still a competitive industry and there's two points up for grabs," said Donaghy, who also pointed out several Queensland representatives are in the Storm squad.

"If it was to be Suncorp, the guys have got a good record there. And a lot of our players are Origin players so it's been like a second home for them for a period of time."

Donaghy said talks are ongoing with the NRL and state government officials and it was confirmed their time away from Melbourne would last at least two weeks.

A number of base options were still in contention but Donaghy had pushed for the Sunshine Coast.

Their feeder team, the Falcons, are based there while they have a partnership with the University of Sunshine Coast and a majority stake in the Sunshine Coast Lightning Super Netball team.

"I know that if that was where we ended up after the game on Friday, I'm sure the team and everyone in the bubble would feel very comfortable about being based there," Donaghy said.

The possibility of their road trip lasting more than two weeks was entirely out of their hands, he said, just at it was for the Warriors, who are based indefinitely on the Central Coast.

"We're not in as difficult a position as the Warriors are in but it's still a sacrifice that's being made, to pack up and shift.

"We've got something like 40 or 50 children amongst the football program so there's been a lot of personal discussions and sacrifices behind the scenes that get glossed over a bit."