Melbourne have sent exciting prospect Josh Addo-Carr straight to the gym as the Storm try to replicate the powerful Marika Koroibete.
The electric Addo-Carr was signed from Wests Tigers as a replacement for Koroibete, who has switched codes and joined the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby side.
While the 21-year-old already matches Koroibete for pace, the Storm felt he lacked power so sent Addo-Carr straight to the gym.
Ahead of their first trial on Saturday night against the Warriors in Queensland, Addo-Carr said he was already reaping the rewards.
“I wasn’t that strong doing squats so since day one they’ve got someone watching me doing leg weights, that was my weakness,” Addo-Carr said.
“I’m heaps stronger and faster and fitter so it’s been good.”
Koroibete also started his NRL career with the Tigers and was a fringe player before a mid-season switch in 2014 to Melbourne where he developed into one of the game’s most devastating wingers.
While Addo-Carr was already on the fast-track with the Tigers, playing nine first grade games and scoring six tries last season, he believes moving to Melbourne is the best thing for his game.
“As soon as he (Koroibete) came down here he was killing it and I want to do what he was doing,” he said.
“I came down here for an opportunity, I want to be the best player I can be and I think this is the club where I can do that.”
Addo-Carr was one of the stars in the Storm’s charge into the Auckland Nines semi-finals last weekend and said he was starting to find his feet at his new club after initially being a little “star-struck” by the likes of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk.
He has reignited his friendship with Curtis Scott, with the pair sharing a history in junior football at Cronulla.
The 19-year-old Scott is favourite to start in the centres and Addo-Carr is hoping their bond will rub off on the field.
He said he couldn’t wait for the NRL season to get started as that would mean an end to the Storm’s tough pre-season.
“It’s been the longest eight or nine weeks of my life, just getting flogged everyday.
“But it’s been good and I can’t wait to start playing football – it’s what I love and can’t wait to start ripping around with the boys.”