Craig Bellamy has pulled a shock by choosing rookie Tyran Wishart at fullback for Melbourne’s blockbuster NRL Magic Spherical conflict with Penrith on Saturday night time.
Earlier on Friday, coach Bellamy mentioned he was considering shifting 5 eighth Cameron Munster to the again to exchange injured fellow famous person Ryan Papenhuyzen.
Nonetheless on Friday night time Melbourne introduced Nick Meaney, who was named to put on the No.1 jersey, would transfer again to the wing with 22-year-old utility Wishart to play fullback.
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Wishart lined at fullback when Papenhuyzen was pressured out with knee and hamstring accidents within the second half of their win over the Dragons final spherical.
Making his debut this season, Wishart – the son of Steelers nice Rod Wishart – is certain to be put beneath loads of strain by Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary within the prime of the ladder conflict.
Munster began his NRL profession at fullback in 2014 and spent the majority of two seasons there when Billy Slater was sidelined with shoulder accidents.
He took over the five-eighth jersey fulltime in 2018 however the 27-year-old has typically spoken of his want to return to the again.
“Munster has played plenty there so we’ve got some options,” Bellamy had mentioned earlier.
“He’s gone there a couple of times this year … we’ll start a certain way but if that’s not quite working out we can make some changes.”
Following Wishart’s transfer, Jordan Grant will come onto the bench with Cooper Johns and Tui Kamikamica remaining within the 19-man squad.
Any late change will see prop Kamikamica play his first NRL sport of the 12 months after finishing a nine-week ban for an off-field incident.
The Storm are additionally planning to start out Marion Seve within the centres regardless of him solely enjoying 9 NRL video games prior to now two seasons.
Bellamy mentioned Seve, who had a knee reconstruction in 2020, had been knocking on the door for a while earlier than Reimis Smith was injured.
“He’s been outstanding in the Queensland Cup … we’re real confident he will do the job,” he mentioned of Seve.
Melbourne and Penrith have dominated the previous two seasons, every profitable a title, whereas they enter this sold-out Suncorp Stadium conflict on prime of the ladder with 8-1 data.
Some further spice was thrown into their rivalry when it was revealed that after the 2020 grand closing victory Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes drunkenly mocked the blue-collar upbringing of the Panthers, which they used as fodder for final 12 months’s preliminary closing win.
Bellamy defended Hughes, who apologised to the Panthers this week for his social media antics.
“I don’t know the situation from 2020 but the only thing I will say is that I’ve never met a better person than Jahrome Hughes,” the coach mentioned.
“He’s a very humble guy and very well-mannered so if he did upset someone he would be very sorry for that.”
Melbourne have piled on an unimaginable 162 factors of their previous three matches and Bellamy conceded that wasn’t nice for an anticipated arm-wrestle with the Panthers.
“If that’s the way it turns out, our last three weeks hasn’t been ideal preparation for that sort of game,” he mentioned.
“We can only play to our strengths and try to restrict opportunities for the opposition.”