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Business as usual for Storm players

By Melissa Woods 12/06/2010 04:43:21 PM Comments (0)

Debutant Melbourne captain Adam Blair says it's business as usual at the NRL club despite the on-going investigation and court action which have followed the Storm's salary cap breaches.

In the absence of regular skipper Cam Smith, who is on Origin duty with Queensland, Blair will take over the captaincy for the Storm's home clash at AAMI Park with the erratic Sydney Roosters on Monday night.

Storm players and officials won't publicly comment on the cap scandal - which resulted in the club being fined and stripped of two premierships and their points for this season - until the NRL investigation is complete.

The club's independent directors have taken action against the NRL in the Victorian Supreme Court, claiming the process in imposing the penalties was unfair.

But Blair said playing only for pride, fans and sponsors this season wasn't affecting their preparation for their NRL matches.

"It doesn't affect us, we haven't heard about it in a while so it's pretty much gone away," he said.

"We just get out there and try and enjoy our footy and do the best that we can for the club and our teammates."

The Storm are reportedly $850,000 over the cap this year and will be $1.5 million over in 2011 so other NRL clubs are circling.

While it is assumed the club will have to let at least one of their big four of Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Greg Inglis go, the ever-increasing scale of the breaches could result in even greater sacrifices.

Blair is said to be in the sights of the Bulldogs, who last month signed fellow Storm forward Aiden Tolman.

He admitted the players felt they were "in limbo" with their playing futures so uncertain until the club audit is complete.

"But we can't do anything about it, we just have to wait until things are sorted out and hopefully that will be soon," Blair said.

The 24-year-old, who has been a revelation in the backrow since his switch from prop, said he definitely wanted to stay with the Storm.

Whether that's possible is another thing.

"I've been there for a while now and I love the Storm and the culture that we have, the boys are great to be playing with," he said.

Although a vice-captain for New Zealand and a born leader as the oldest of eight children, Blair said he was surprised when told of his appointment as captain.

"I was, I didn't think I was a chance," he said.

"There's (Brett Finch) there and a couple of older blokes so it was a privilege to be told I'm captaining the side."

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