Melbourne feel they’re well-placed to cover the loss of Marika Koroibete to rugby union ahead the 2017 NRL season.
Koroibete’s move to the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby side has left a big hole in the Storm’s young backline.
Storm football director Frank Ponissi said that Victorian product Young Tonumaipea, ex-Wests Tigers flyer Josh Addo-Carr and centre Curtis Scott were in the running to fill the vacancy.
“It’s a pretty open position to be honest,” Ponissi said.
Tonumaipea, 24, started on the wing in the first six games of the 2016 season but his strong start to the year was derailed by a knee injury.
That opened the door for another Fijian flyer Suliasi Vunivalu, who had a meteoric rise as he crossed for 23 tries in 21 games and finished as the competition’s top try-scorer.
“Young was unlucky as he was probably one of our best players and he had that wing spot sewn up but then he got injured and by the time he got back Suli had gone to another level and he couldn’t get his position back,” Ponissi said.
“If he started the season like he did last year you’d say he would be the first candidate but he’s got some pretty good rivals in Josh Addo-Carr and Curtis.”
Addo-Carr, 21, made an impression on the Storm when he scored against them in his NRL debut in round seven.
Signing a three-year deal with Melbourne in June, he played nine games for the season, adding another three tries to his tally.
The Storm are excited to see what former Australian schoolboy representative Scott offers in 2017 after his promising NRL career stalled in round four last year when he broke his leg.
“He’s put on some size after 12 months into a full-time program which he needed to do and he’s got stronger,” Ponissi said of the 19-year-old.
“Curtis will be knocking on the door for a centre role or that wing spot.”