Champion hopes to convince coach Bellamy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Champion hopes to convince coach Bellamy

By Melissa Woods 04/03/2011 04:53:04 PM Comments (0)

Former Rabbitoh Beau Champion is hoping to convince Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy to pick him for their NRL season opener despite barely playing any pre-season football.

The centre, who replaced superstar Greg Inglis at the Storm, injured his calf in the warm-up for Melbourne's final trial against Brisbane last week.

His only hit-out has been with the Indigenous All-Stars earlier this month when he only managed 20 minutes before being knocked out.

But Champion still hoped Bellamy would still give him an opportunity against Manly at AAMI Park on Saturday week.

"I feel confident that I'm in physically good enough condition," said the 24-year-old, who played 70 games for South Sydney before the switch.

"It's up to Craig and the coaching staff but from my point of view, I feel really good and am looking forward to starting the season off well."

Champion, who is aiming to wear the NSW State of Origin jersey this year, said he didn't think the injury would trouble him.

"It just pulled up a little bit sore in the warm-up last week and they didn't want to risk it" he said.

"I've got some running this week and then hopefully I can start next week full steam ahead rather than chasing my tail, I really want to play."

Bellamy's other first choice centre Chase Stanley suffered a knee injury early in the Brisbane game but he, too, is rated a strong chance for Melbourne's first match playing for competition points since last year's salary cap penalties were imposed.

Champion, who scored 14 tries in 19 games in 2010, said he was initially "shocked" by the intensity of Melbourne's pre-season preparation.

"It's just the volume we were doing and how intense the sessions were, it's a lot different to what I've come from in the past.

"It can only improve me as a football player as it's going to make me fitter and stronger throughout the season.

"It's been tough going through it, but when you come out the other side you feel a lot better for it, it's been a really good challenge."

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