Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk has recovered from illness and will lead the charge against Manly while Billy Slater remains an outside chance for their Anzac day NRL clash.
After being bed-ridden for much of the week with the flu, Cronk completed the Storm’s final training session on Friday in Melbourne ahead of Saturday night’s match at AAMI Park.
The Test halfback didn’t show any signs of illness as he ran through the plays, giving the competition leaders a massive boost before taking on their fierce rivals, who they lost to in round two.
Slater, who has missed the past two weeks with a shoulder injury, also trained but is still rated an outside chance of playing.
The Storm said while it was “highly unlikely” he would play, they will allow the Kangaroos custodian to make the final call.
Slater is believed to be desperate to get back on the paddock to push for the selection ahead of Australia’s May 1 Test against New Zealand.
While the Sea Eagles are running last, the Storm are well aware of their capabilities following their two-point loss in round two.
It stands as Manly’s only win of the year so far and following five straight losses coach Geoff Toovey admitted things were “pretty desperate”.
But he said the players were travelling to Melbourne feeling confident after their early season win.
“We showed that we could beat them last time at Brookvale,” Toovey said.
“We played some exceptional football then and we need to produce that again.”
He said he felt his team had been unlucky in recent weeks not to get another win up.
The Sea Eagles are still waiting on a green light for their New Zealand Test five-eighth Kieran Foran, who is hoping to return from a hamstring injury.
Toovey said a final decision would be made after their final training session.
He wouldn’t reveal who was his likely replacement if he was ruled out with Jamie Lyon also sidelined with an ankle problem.
“He’s not a certainty and we will see how he pulls out.”