Storm set for NRL move to Sunshine Coast

Melbourne will shift base to the Sunshine Coast on Saturday, and have moved Thursday's home game against the Sydney Roosters on Suncorp Stadium.

CAMERON MUNSTER
CAMERON MUNSTER Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Melbourne will call Sunshine Coast home for at least the next two weeks after being granted an exemption to relocate to Queensland indefinitely.

The Storm confirmed the move on Saturday, which includes shifting next Thursday's blockbuster with the Sydney Roosters to Suncorp Stadium.

Melbourne then travel to Canberra to face the Raiders the following week, before hopefully getting clearance to return home.

"Sunshine Coast is the best option available to us in the circumstances we face at the moment and we would like to thank the Queensland Government for its assistance in making this relocation possible," Storm boss Dave Donaghy said.

Players and staff will be given restricted access to facilities at Twin Waters Resort and train at Sunshine Coast Stadium, home of feeder club, the Falcons.

Storm members residing in Queensland will be given first chance to buy tickets for what will be the first time gates will be open to crowds since the lockdown.

The club is expecting a crowd of 10,000, which would be the maximum allowed under current coronavirus guidelines at sporting venues.

"We would love to be back home in front of the Purple Army but unfortunately that isn't possible until we get the green light to be back in Victoria," Donaghy said.

"To stage a 2018 grand final rematch at Suncorp Stadium and to showcase two of the best clubs in the NRL to a Queensland audience, including more than 1000 Storm members who live here, will be a real highlight of the season for us."

The development comes two days after the Storm were forced to leave Victoria indefinitely due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Friday's home game against the Warriors was shifted to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Sydney, where they triumphed by 44 points.

However the win was soured by a suspected medial ligament injury to star five-eighth Cameron Munster, with fears he could be sidelined for up to six weeks.

Munster, who is expected to undergo scans on Sunday, was devastated to miss the Roosters clash, as well as Canberra the following week.

"It's one of them games you want to get up for. It feels like a prelim or a final game, especially playing against the Roosters," Munster said.

"They've been playing some really good footy the last couple of weeks. They're the benchmark at the moment."

Skipper Cameron Smith will be one of the options to play in the halves after filling in at halfback in the second half, with Brandon Smith at hooker.

"It's an option without a doubt. Whether that's the best option for us or not, we'll have to have a bit of a chat about that and work it out," coach Craig Bellamy said.

"I thought Cameron done a pretty good job there as well.

"Brandon's obviously a class dummy-half. He's the Kiwi dummy-half. That certainly is an option for us, but there's a couple of other options as well."


AAP