Storm players want to bring trophy home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm players want to bring trophy home

By Melissa Woods 15/02/2010 07:56:16 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith says the upcoming World Club Challenge against Leeds is "massive".

Storm mentor Craig Bellamy lamented the long-haul travel and the timing of the annual clash between the hemisphere's best club sides, fearful of the affect it could have on his team's start to the NRL season.

But Smith said Melbourne was excited about the opportunity to claim their first Club Challenge title, after Manly's success over Leeds in the same fixture last year.

"It's big for us," said Smith, who won't travel to the UK until Thursday because of his commitments with the All-Stars match last weekend.

"It's a chance to become the best team in the world really.

"We're playing a very good side in Leeds, who have won the Super League three years in a row and for us, it's something that we haven't been able to achieve yet.

"It was great to win the grand final but it's a new year for us now and our first challenge is to go over to England and do our best to bring home that trophy."

With regular halfback Cooper Cronk missing from the squad as he recovers from surgery, Smith, the Test hooker, could find himself wearing the No.7 jersey, with Ryan Hinchcliffe at rake.

Bellamy hasn't decided whether to pursue that option or start with last year's under 20s halfback Luke Kelly, who he's set to trial against Harlequins in a warm-up match on Feb 21 before the Leeds game on Feb 28.

"We're trying to work around a few positions there with Cooper being out," said Smith.

"It's not ideal for us going into such a big game, and we're not sure when he's going to be back for us, it might be a couple of rounds into the competition.

"It's really up to Craig, whichever way he goes."

Smith said fullback Billy Slater, who damaged his ankle and missed the All Stars match, was set to start against Leeds, although he was still suffering some swelling.

Prop Jeff Lima (leg) and centre Greg Inglis (hip) will face a fitness test ahead of the Harlequins match, however both ran lightly on their injuries at training on Monday.

Bellamy described himself as a "broken record" but again called for the match to be played two weeks after the Australian grand final, so the champion line-up played in the match.

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