Bellamy decides Storm's Coates replacement

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

With injured State of Origin winger Xavier Coates facing an extended stint on the sidelines, Melbourne will hand Grant Anderson his NRL debut for Saturday's SCG clash with the Sydney Roosters.

The Storm were still waiting the results of scans, with Coates headed to see a specialist in Melbourne on Friday after watching the Storm's captain's run from the sidelines with his foot in a moon-boot.

Melbourne's final training session was makeshift with Queenslanders Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and Felise Kaufusi all remaining in Sydney following their victory over NSW but coach Craig Bellamy believed they would all line up against the Roosters.

In some welcome news, star fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen looked to be running freely on his injured knee to target a return next round.

Olympic Sevens medallist, Kiwi Will Warbrick was next in line to replace Coates but suffered an untimely calf injury while Young Tonumaipea only returned to the club from Super Rugby this week.

Bellamy also considered shifting Nick Meaney from fullback to wing and starting Tyran Wishart at the back.

Instead he opted to name Anderson, who has been playing centre with Storm feeder club Sunshine Coast, for his first NRL start 24 hours out from kick-off.

"We are down on troops in the outside backs - we lost George (Jennings) first game of the season, we've lost Reimis (Smith) and now Xavier, it's stretching our resources," Bellamy said.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson confirmed his Origin trio James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou and Lindsay Collins would all back-up saying they were "fresh and ready to go".

Tedesco will slot straight back in at fullback in place of centre Joey Manu, who was a stand-out in their 22-16 loss to Canberra.

His 31 runs were the most in a NRL game since 2012 when Paul Gallen had 32 while he also had 17 tackle-busts.

"I really liked having Joey (Manu) there last week, he did well in Ted's absence but it's good to have your captain back in," Robinson said.

"Lindsay getting back into the pack without Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves), there is a needed return."

Despite leading the Blues to a surprise Origin loss, Tedesco was still the danger man according to Bellamy.

"He's been playing really well as everyone knows - he had one hell of a game on Wednesday night even though he was in the losing team," he said.

"His last six or seven weeks is as good as he's played for a couple of years."

The second-placed Storm boast a strong recent record over the Sydneysiders - last year racking up 66 points to the Roosters' four.

Bellamy said the 2018-19 champions, who sit seventh on the ladder, could still match it with the competition frontrunners.

"Their form has probably been a little bit up and down but their last couple of weeks have been really good," he said of the Roosters.

"I thought their game against Cronulla was outstanding, and especially their first 60 minutes."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting