Jesse Bromwich was just a kid in the stands watching his brother train when he first caught the eye of Melbourne NRL staff.
Fast forward seven years, he’s one of the world’s best forwards and about to play his 150 NRL game for Melbourne.
The 27-year-old will reach the mark on Saturday night when the Storm host the Sydney Roosters at AAMI Park.
It’s a milestone that might never have happened but for his younger brother Kenny, who had already signed to play under 20s with Melbourne, with Jesse playing bush footy in Orange in country NSW.
Then junior coach Brad Arthur asked him if he’d like to join in training and, within weeks, he was also on their books.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy said the club were proud of what Bromwich, who captained New Zealand in the Anzac Test earlier this year, had achieved.
He’s only the 11th Melbourne player to play 150 games for the club.
“He came here under different circumstances than most players and he’s lifted himself up to be one of the best front-rowers, if not the best, in our game,” Bellamy said.
“The story suits Jesse as he’s got old fashioned values and he doesn’t say too much but his actions do the talking for him.”
While the Storm welcomed back Will Chambers from three months out with a foot injury in their win over Newcastle, they might lose powerhouse winger Marika Koroibete to an ankle issue.
“We didn’t think it was too bad the day after the game but it’s got worse,” Bellamy said.
“He won’t train and we will have a look at it on Friday and we’ll see how we go from there.”
Despite their contrasting ladder positions, Bellamy was preparing for a tough encounter with the Roosters.
“You look at their team and you wonder where they are, with a current State of Origin player and a New Zealand player on the bench, so they’re a strong team,” Bellamy said.
Meanwhile, the coach said he hadn’t heard of reports that Storm five-eighth Blake Green had verbally agreed to terms with Manly.
“Greeny hasn’t come to me and I’m sure, if he’s getting close to that, I will hear from him,” Bellamy said.