Storm get green light for Melbourne return

Melissa Woods
Melbourne will return to their home base after COVID-19 restrictions were eased in Victoria

Melbourne have welcomed the chance to return to their NRL training base at AAMI Park from Albury after the Victorian government relaxed restrictions on Monday.

While allowing the general public to gather in groups up to 10, the government has exempted the state's professional sporting teams to train as full squads and to resume contact training from Wednesday.

There were initial concerns Victoria wouldn't match the regulations in NSW and Queensland which allowed NRL teams to do contact training from Monday, leaving the Storm to train across the NSW border.

The Storm will now train in Albury on Tuesday, take Wednesday off and then continue preparations from Thursday in Melbourne before the NRL restart on May 28.

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith rejoined the squad in Albury on Monday for his first session after being given permission to remain in Melbourne last week.

While they hit an initial hurdle in Albury when the council voted against them using the council-run league ground, forcing them on to an AFL field, the Storm said they had felt welcome in the town and were thankful of support they received there.

They are making plans to help the town out financially in the future.

"In coming weeks, we will finalise initiatives to assist the local chamber of commerce with its post-coronavirus recovery, as well as continue discussions with the local rugby league fraternity about how we can help out community sport in the region once it is up and running," the club said in a statement.