Sport

Coach Bellamy has gripe about NRL draw for next season

IT MIGHT have been his first day back on the job preparing his team for an NRL title defence, but Storm coach Craig Bellamy wasted no time slamming the draw for 2013.

Bellamy said he may leave some of his best players at home for the round two clash against the Cowboys in Townsville, given the health risk that could result from backing up just five days later against the Bulldogs.

"We feel we've been shafted by that five-day turnaround," he said.

"I'm really concerned about our players' welfare. If it's dangerous for some of our players, they won't be playing up there.

"It's time for the Players Association to get in there and say this is about player's welfare ... at least ask the question about what the effect is on the players."

Bellamy said he agreed with Manly coach Geoff Toovey that elements of the draw, including short back-ups for some teams and not others, made the competition "a little bit uneven".

While the coach was back, after a break that included visits to rugby and soccer clubs in France and England, and also to Red Bull's motor racing facility in England, many of the club's star players have yet to return.

Kiwi internationals Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor will be back next week, and Ryan Hoffman, Brett Finch and Jason Ryles the following week.

And after a torturous season that culminated in the Test match against New Zealand in Townsville in October, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater have been told to come back after Christmas.

"It's a big year (with the World Cup) so we're trying to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible," Bellamy said.

Topics:  craig bellamy, draw, melbourne storm, nrl, rugby league


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bread rises to the challenge at show

WINNERS: The Old Fernvale Bakery team show off their awards with owner Lyn Rose.

The old Fernvale Bakery are winners at the Queensland Baking Show.

New recruits kick start policing roles in Gatton

NEW COPS: Gatton’s newest police recruits Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt.

Constables Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt are in town.

Otis Ogg is back on Somerset Council

Somerset Regional Council councillor Otis Ogg.

Otis Ogg is all for the Somerset Region.

Latest deals and offers

Record show entrants at Esk

THE Esk show society received record-breaking show section entrants at their annual show on Saturday.

Bread rises to the challenge at show

WINNERS: The Old Fernvale Bakery team show off their awards with owner Lyn Rose.

The old Fernvale Bakery are winners at the Queensland Baking Show.

New recruits kick start policing roles in Gatton

NEW COPS: Gatton’s newest police recruits Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt.

Constables Louisa Weightman and Daniel Blewitt are in town.

Otis Ogg is back on Somerset Council

Somerset Regional Council councillor Otis Ogg.

Otis Ogg is all for the Somerset Region.

Kirby takes on junior coaching role

Lockyer Valley Basketball Association coach and player Rhiannon Kirby.

Junior basketballers in safe hands.

Community asked to dig deep for Salvos

GIVING HOPE: Craig Harlum of the Lockyer Valley Salvation Army Corps distributing doughnuts.

Get ready for the Salvos to come knocking.

City’s most eligible bachelors go up for auction

Australia's favourite redhead twins and celebrity bachelors Stevie and Andy Mac will perform and be auctioned off at the Pink Hope Charity Male Auction Gala.

All women need to do is bid for the man who catches their eye

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago