Storm will be back, predicts Broncos CEO - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm will be back, predicts Broncos CEO

By Wayne Heming 11/08/2010 04:11:03 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane chief executive Bruno Cullen has offered some encouraging words for rookie Melbourne boss Ron Gauci, who faces the challenge of rebuilding the Storm into an NRL power club following their salary cap collapse.

Since the extent of their massive salary cap rorting was exposed in April, seven Storm players - including representative stars Greg Inglis, Brett White and Ryan Hoffman - have exited the club.

Inglis's departure breaks up the Fab Four, but still leaves coach Craig Bellamy with a handy trio of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Crook to work a team around.

Gauci would not have enjoyed his first public task on Tuesday, announcing the release of superstar Inglis from the final two years of his contract.

What would have made it even tougher, especially for Storm coach Craig Bellamy, was that Inglis was leaving to play for arch rivals Brisbane, the side that upset them in the 2006 grand final.

But Cullen, one of the most respected administrators in rugby league, believes Melbourne will fight their way back with Gauci at the helm.

"Look, they've still got some quality youngsters down there," said Cullen after confirming Brisbane had emailed a contract to Inglis to sign.

"It may take them 12 months, but I expect them to be - not as competitive as they were because they were unusual circumstances - but they've still got Billy Slater, they've still got Cameron Smith and they've still got Cooper Cronk and some other quality players.

"Don't forget they won the under-20s grand final last year so there has to be a lot of kids that are going good.

"Our team is full of under-20 players from our 2008 side so they're not too far away from being a real force in the competition again."

There's no doubt Gauci has a huge job ahead and Tuesday was a real test, but he appeared to handle it well for someone so new to the post.

While Gauci will probably have to make some more tough decisions, Cullen believes Melbourne still have enough big names and young talent and fantastic fan support to rise again.

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