Storm add depth for 2016 NRL season

Storm coach Craig Bellamy will try to work his magic on Canberra discard Mark Nicholls after luring the NRL prop to Melbourne.

Bellamy has a proven record of turning players unable to crack a regular starting gig into matchwinners with the Storm.

It didn’t work this year with another former Raider, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, who struggled with injury and retired at season’s end, but Bellamy has gone back to the well with Nicholls, beating the Warriors for his signature.

Nicholls only managed five NRL games with the Raiders in 2015 but has good pedigree.

He was a former Junior Kangaroos representative and was Canberra’s rookie of the year in his debut 2012 season but his career never really recovered from a badly broken arm in 2013.

He joins former Gold Coast veteran Matt White, who was signed in August, in adding some depth to the Storm pack.

Nicholls was one of four players announced by the club on Tuesday, although exciting teenagers Scott Drinkwater and Curtis Scott were already linked to the club.

Thunderbolts winger Tony Tumusa was also offered a senior contract.

Young halfback Drinkwater, who has been part of the Roosters junior system, has been signed as part of the Storm’s succession plan for Cooper Cronk.

Scott, who captained Cronulla Sharks SG Ball premiership side this season and was also named player of the tournament at the Australian Schoolboys carnival in July, plays in the centres.

Storm football director Frank Ponissi said the club was excited to confirm the signing of the Australian Schoolboy duo, who will move to Melbourne after finishing school.

“Both Scott and Curtis were highly sought after by other clubs and we are thrilled to now be in a position to announce they have signed with Melbourne Storm,” Ponissi said.

“Our recruiting staff has closely followed their progress over the last few years and we believe being in the Storm system under our coaching staff will assist them in becoming NRL players.”

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