New Melbourne skipper reveals the key to premiership success and backs quartet to shine

Melbourne Storm co-skipper Christian Welch with Bromwich and Craig Bellamy

Newly-appointed Melbourne Storm captain Christian Welch is confident they can overcome the loss of three star players and still compete for the 2022 NRL premiership.

It has been an off-season of change for Craig Bellamy’s men who have waved goodbye to three influential players. Dale Finucane, Josh Addo-Carr and Nicho Hynes have left a big hole, but Welch remains upbeat.

The Storm have been there before when losing Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater in the past but they have always found a way to stay at the top of the pile.

Welch is in no doubt they can do the same in the new campaign as they look to make up for the heartbreak of the 2021 grand final defeat to the Penrith Panthers.

The Storm have built a strong culture under Bellamy and there is always fresh talent ready to step in and take their chance.

That culture will be the key to Melbourne Storm having a big season and Welch is delighted with the way pre-season has gone.

Christian Welch told AAP: “We’re so used to it. Each year one of the big three left people said we’d drop off and it’s the same this season.

“We’re confident in our pre-season and our ability to play well and compete at the top of the table and I think that’ll be the same this year.”

Big name departures

As well as losing Finucane and co, another four big guns will be leaving at the end of the season.

The Bromwich brothers, Jesse and Kenny will be joining the NRL’s latest new club, the Dolphins, for their debut season in 2023, along with Felise Kaufusi.

And after a controversial few months for Brandon Smith, it was announced he would be joining the Sydney Roosters for next season.

It could be argued that all four players will take their eye off the ball and will be thinking about their new clubs.

But that is not the Melbourne Storm way. They are all winners and will be desperate to go out on a high. And Welch is in no doubt all four players will step up to the plate.

“They’re fully committed to our club and legends of our club so there’s no doubt about their commitment to the Storm and how badly they want to win this year’s premiership,” Christian Welch added.

Bromwich backs co-skipper

Jesse Bromwich has backed up his skipper. The 32-year-old has been with Storm since making his debut way back in 2022.

The forward is determined to repay the club that has given him so much, and another premiership is the goal.

“I’m trying to have a really big year because I owe it to the club to leave it all out on the field this year,” Bromwich said.

And while the Storm have Craig Bellamy at the helm they will always be in safe hands.

The Storm still have a roster packed with quality. Cameron Munster is said to be fitter, leaner and stronger than ever which is a frightening prospect for the rest of the NRL.

Harry Grant is one of the best hookers in the comp, and Ryan Papenhuyzen will be out to show he is the best fullback after an injury-hit 2021. If all three fire, so will the Storm.

However Munster and Grant will be suspended for the round one clash against West Tigers as Bellamy looks to maintain the record of never losing an opening clash while in charge of the Storm.