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Melbourne Storm has begun bolstering its forward pack in readiness for next season following the signings of Bulldogs prop/second-rower Dennis Scott and young Manly prop Ian Donnelly, both on two-year deals.
The signing of Scott and Donnelly means the Storm?s forwards will take on a new look next year with skipper Stephen Kearney leaving for Hull at season?s end and Kirk Reynoldson joining Newcastle in 2005.
?Hopefully this is a good start for building some depth for next season, it?s a good opportunity for both of those guys to come down here and we?re more than happy to have them,? Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.
Prior to joining the Bulldogs in 1999, 28-year-old Scott made his first-grade debut with the Brisbane Broncos where he spent three seasons between 1996 and 1998.
It was here that Scott first linked with Bellamy who was then assistant coach of the Broncos.
?We were looking at our options of players to sign and when we played the Bulldogs a few weeks ago I was talking to Dennis and he mentioned how he still hadn?t signed with anyone so we basically got moving from there,? Bellamy explained.
Scott, a quiet achiever in the Bulldogs pack having played 24 of his 25 matches off the bench last season, has played over 100 first-grade games and, according to Bellamy, will add valuable experience to Melbourne?s roster.
?Dennis has had a good career there at the Bulldogs and has had some good experience at a strong club which I think will be very valuable for us,? Bellamy added.
?He is an experienced player and he?s been around for a while whereas Ian is a bit younger but still has some first-grade experience.?
After turning heads in his debut season with the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2003, 23-year-old Donnelly joined Manly this year but has been given an early release from his contract to join the Storm next season.
?Ian is a big strong guy and he carries the ball really well so we think he can be a useful player with us,? Bellamy said.
?He?ll be coming down here looking for an opportunity and we?re certainly only too happy to give him that opportunity.?
The Storm will conclude preparations for tomorrow night?s match against Parramatta at Olympic Park (7.30pm) with a final training session later this afternoon.