Bellamy delays naming side due to injuries - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy delays naming side due to injuries

Melissa Woods 07/03/2011 04:55:29 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy could wait until match eve to decide on his line-up to face Manly in their round one NRL clash on Saturday.

Bellamy will name an expanded squad as he gives a host of injured players as much time as possible to prove their fitness.

One certain to start the Storm's first match for NRL competition points since last April is fullback Billy Slater, who has recovered from shoulder surgery.

Pleas to play Souths recruit Beau Champion, who hasn't managed a Storm trial due to injury, appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

"He's probably been on the edge for a little while with that head injury and now the calf, I'd probably say he's pretty unlikely," the coach said.

Five-eighth Maurice Blair, centre Chase Stanley and forwards Sika Manu and Rory Kostjasyn are among the injured brigade.

"I'd like to have the line-up settled but we've got a few injuries," Bellamy said, adding they will test the players on Wednesday.

"Rory Kostjasyn rolled his ankle at training on Friday so we're going through a bad patch at the moment but hopefully we'll have a few there on Saturday.

"It could be up to Friday before we make decisions, I'd like to have most of that done by Wednesday but sometimes it doesn't work out like that."

Bellamy said Manly's pre-season form had been impressive and would test his new-look side, which shed a number of key players to get under the salary cap.

"They've had great form in the trials and they've got a lot of good experienced players there so they're a really good, solid, aggressive team so it will be a good test for our blokes first up," Bellamy said.

"I've watched both their trials and I thought they were really impressive, especially against the Warriors.

"You know Manly's a good team and when you get into the tough parts of the game they're going to be in there competing."

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