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.

'Some human has shaved a roo's neck and set a dog on it'

HOPPING MAD: Placid Hills resident Terese Calleja was shocked to find a kangaroo which had been used for dog attacks on her property.

Kangaroo found injured after attack in Placid Hills

Traffic delays easing after ute fire on motorway

The driver managed to get the ute onto the shoulder of the highway just before exit 31.

Vehicle well alight just before exit 31

Police identify elderly man struck by car at Oxley

The man was believed to be wearing this hat

79 year-old is currently receiving medical treatment

Latest deals and offers

How to peel a potato fast

There is a fast way to peel potatoes.

You've been doing it wrong all this time.

Johnny Depp thinks Barnaby Joyce is inbred with a tomato.

Johnny Depp on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Johnny Depp explains his apology video on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

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