Craig Bellamy: I’m not sure why they had Denver Test at this time of year

Drew Darbyshire

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy is unhappy that New Zealand star Nelson Asofa-Solomona has not returned from Denver yet.

Asofa-Solomona played in New Zealand’s 36-18 defeat to England at the Mile High Stadium in Denver, United States on Saturday.

But the front-rower has yet to return, as of Tuesday night, which has left Bellamy frustrated at the timing of the Test match because Storm face Sydney Roosters on Friday night.

Bellamy said of Asofa-Solomona’s whereabouts: “I don’t know what the hell’s going on to be quite honest.

“He’s still not back and I don’t know when he’s going to be back. Whether he’s back from the game or not – I don’t know.

“I’m not sure why they had this Test at this time of year.

“It’s not my decision but it’s not ideal to have guys playing over there, so far away, in heat and humidity, and then be late back for our game.”

Australia full-back Billy Slater played the full game for Queensland in their State of Origin defeat to New South Wales on Sunday in his return from a hamstring injury.

But Bellamy said Slater will play if he is feeling okay.

He added: “We’ve been on the conservative side with him, we’ll stay with that this week if we have to.

“But if he thinks he can play and get through the 80 minutes, we will play him.”