Koroibete wishes he was part of NRL win

The Qantas Wallabies train at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne ahead of the first June test against Fiji. Israel Folau and Marika Koroibete.
The Qantas Wallabies train at Gosch's Paddock in Melbourne ahead of the first June test against Fiji. Israel Folau and Marika Koroibete. supplied

Marika Koroibete was the last player to touch the ball in the Storm's grand final loss to Cronulla last year, pulled down after full-time as Melbourne made one last attacking raid only to be denied.

One year later, Koroibete was midair, flying from South Africa to Argentina with the Wallabies after starring with two tries in his first international start, while his former Storm teammates avenged the heartache of 2016 by claiming this year's NRL premiership against North Queensland Cowboys.

And Koroibete wished he was at ANZ Stadium to hold that trophy aloft with the men in purple.

"Inside of me, there was a little part saying that should be me there too," Koroibete said in Buenos Aires. "But I'm just happy for them."

So does that mean the 25-year-old flier is considering a league return?

"I don't think so, when I first moved to rugby my wife wanted me to go back to league, she loves league," Koroibete said.

"But my body feels good in union, there's less contact, especially for the backs.

"I don't think I'll go back to league - my wife will be angry when she hears that."

Australian rugby's latest star was simply relieved the Storm shook off the demons.

"We felt the pain last year, the mistakes we made last year in preparation, I knew the boys wouldn't make the same mistake this year," he said.

Melbourne's big three of Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater all rose to the occasion as they've so often done.

As someone who spent much time with the trio, Koroibete believes the Wallabies can build a combination as devastating by the 2019 World Cup in Japan, likely in the form of Michael Hooper, Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau.

"What makes Smith, Cronk and Slater special is they don't just talk about it, they do it on the field, they lead by example," he said.

"That's why they are a successful club and everyone respects them and coach [Craig] Bellamy.

"They know what works and they tell Bellamy, and Bellamy respects that, and Bellamy tells them what he expects. It's a two-way thing.

"And 100% the Wallabies can have that type of combination, we've got a young group here.

"We can build that, we've still got time to build for the World Cup with this young group of boys here."

"As long as Cheika picks the blokes to address that and build towards that, I guarantee we can get that in this team."

Koroibete was clocked running at an astonishing 9.8 metres per second last weekend in the draw against South Africa in Bloemfontein - only injured winger Sefa Naivalu has run faster for the Wallabies this year.

"I ran 9.8 on the weekend, for the first time since I was in the under-20s at the Wests Tigers," Koroibete said.

"The trainer was telling me my output was pretty good, I'll take that and try to get more involved.

Topics:  marika koroibete melbourne storm wallabies

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