Storm train harder, longer - Champion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm train harder, longer - Champion

Sam Lienert 13/01/2011 03:26:58 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Storm recruit Beau Champion says it's taken less than a fortnight at his new NRL club to start reaping the benefits of a major jump in training intensity.

Having played 70 NRL games for South Sydney, the 24-year-old was off-loaded to the Storm to make salary cap space for glamour ex-Storm signing Greg Inglis, a relative of Champion, who ironically helped lure Inglis north.

Champion picked the Storm out of several potential destinations because he believed the club could best develop him as a footballer, and that view had quickly been reinforced.

"The training's been a lot harder but I'm really starting to enjoy it and really starting to pick it up," said Champion after Thursday's session.

"I arrived here the first day and I was blown off my feet. It's only going to make me a better football player.

"The intensity of the training sessions and the duration of the training sessions are a lot longer, but I'm really starting to feel the benefits."

Champion, who spent six weeks in pre-season training with South Sydney before starting with Storm last week, already bore signs of his tough initiation.

"I'm not going to forget the first week that I came to the Melbourne Storm, I've got a couple of stitches in my eye and a bit of a graze on my forehead and a cut lip, but whatever doesn't kill you can only make you stronger," he said.

It's not out of the realms of possibility that the improving Champion could earn an NSW State of Origin debut marking fellow centre Inglis.

Champion expected playing alongside the likes of premiership-winning rep stars Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk, under coach Craig Bellamy to aid his development and possibly enhance his Origin chances.

"I knew if I wanted to look at that option that I'd have to come down and train a lot harder and get a lot physically fitter and stronger," he said.

"Just playing around the players in key positions, that will help my game.

"All I can do at themoment is just concentrate on playing as best I can, contributing as much as I can to the Storm and if a City-Country jumper or a Blues jumper comes up down the track, that will be fantastic."

Champion acknowledged it had been a wrench initially to leave South Sydney, and farewell family and friends, but was now comfortable with the move.

"I just had to get clear in my head that coming to Melbourne was the best decision for my football," he said.

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