Melbourne Storm name side for World Club Challenge clash with Leeds Rhinos
Last Updated: 13/02/18 3:22pm
Melbourne Storm have named 11 members of their 2017 NRL Grand Final-winning team in their starting line-up for Friday's World Club Challenge against Leeds, live on Sky Sports Arena from 8.30am.
The side comprises five members of Australia's victorious World Cup squad, including veterans Billy Slater and Cameron Smith and former Wigan forward Ryan Hoffman, who has rejoined Storm from New Zealand Warriors.
Hoffman, who will be playing in his fifth World Club Challenge, is a straight replacement for Tohu Harris, while Brodie Croft is given first chance to fill Cooper Cronk's No 7 jersey.
Melbourne Storm vs Leeds Rhinos
February 16, 2018, 8:30am
Prop Jordan McLean is the only other player absence from the team that beat North Queensland 34-6 at the ANZ Stadium in October with Tim Glasby promoted from the bench as a replacement.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has named an eight-man bench, which will be cut to four before the game, while the clubs have agreed to have 12 interchanges instead of 10.
Leeds, who have faced Storm in three previous World Club Challenges, will announce their squad on Wednesday but are sure to be without four front-rowers with Mitch Garbutt, Keith Galloway, Anthony Mullally and Nathaniel Peteru left behind in England to recover from injury.
The Super League champions are monitoring the fitness of stand-off Joel Moon, who missed last Thursday's 20-11 win over Hull KR with a hamstring problem, but Liam Sutcliffe says he will be happy to continue in the role if required.
"It was the first time I'd played there for a while so it was a bit strange getting back into that role, I was a bit rusty," said Sutcliffe, who switched from centre.
"But if it does come on Friday, I'll be ready to go."
Melbourne: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Brodie Croft; 8 Jesse Bromwich, 9 Cameron Smith (c), 10 Tim Glasby, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dale Finucane.
Interchange (from): 14 Brandon Smith, 15 Nelson Asofa Solomona, 16 Kenny Bromwich, 17 Christian Welch, 18 Joe Stimson, 19 Young Tonumaipea, 20 Tui Kamikamica, 21 Ryley Jacks.