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Melbourne Storm foundation players Robbie Kearns and Matt Geyer will both celebrate significant milestones this week when the Storm hosts the New Zealand Warriors at Olympic Park on Saturday night.
Kearns will play his 250th NRL match this week while Geyer will celebrate his 150th first-grade match as well as equalling the record for the most games played for the Storm (144), currently held by former winger Marcus Bai.
Kearns and Geyer have followed similar career paths after both crossing to the Storm from the Perth Reds in 1998 and are two of only five inaugural Melbourne players left at the club.
?I guess time flies when you?re having fun because it certainly feels like the 250 games have gone quickly,? former Storm skipper Kearns said.
?It?s obviously not something you set out to achieve at the start of your career but the games rack up after a while and sure enough I?m up to 250.
?I?m not overly focused on the fact that it?s my 250th but at the end of the day when I retire I might look back and think that 250 games is a great figure.
?Just the fact that I?ve been involved with this club for so long is a highlight in itself and I?ve managed to play my best football here which has been great.?
Geyer, who returns to the Storm side this week after suffering a nasty gash to his left shin against the Tigers three weeks ago, is still amazed at how far his career has come since joining the Storm seven years ago.
?I always tell people that before I got picked up by Melbourne it looked like my career was over after just six games with Perth,? Geyer said.
?At that stage I was actually happy with that because I had played first-grade and I thought that was my lot in life. I didn?t ever think that I was going to Melbourne to build a career but subconsciously I think I did chase it.?
The former NSW winger is honoured to be taking over Bai?s record as Melbourne?s most capped player.
?To actually hold the record here for a while, however long I hold it for, is quite amazing because when I first came here I was here with blokes like Glenn Lazarus and Tawera Nikau and to surpass players like that is an honour,? Geyer added.
?I?m glad it?s Marcus I?m getting, I actually emailed him a couple of weeks ago and told him that I?d passed him on the tryscorer?s list and was about to overtake his games record. I can?t really repeat what his reply was.?
The Storm regains its Queensland State of Origin stars Billy Slater and Cameron Smith this week after they both missed Melbourne?s two-point loss to Souths a fortnight ago.
Hooker Nathan Friend and fullback Steve Turner have been squeezed out of the side following Slater and Smith?s return.
Centre Matt King has not been named in the team and is expected to return to first-grade next week after suffering an elbow injury in the City-Country Origin match in early May.
MELBOURNE STORM TEAM TO PLAY the NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS, SATURDAY JUNE 26, AT OLYMPIC PARK (7.30PM):
1. Billy Slater 2. Matt Geyer 3. Steven Bell 4. Ben MacDougall 5. Dustin Cooper 6. Scott Hill 7. Matt Orford 8. Robbie Kearns 9. Cameron Smith 10. Alex Chan 11. David Kidwell 12. Stephen Kearney (c) 13. Kirk Reynoldson 14. Danny Williams 15. Dallas Johnson 16. Ryan Hoffman 17. Rodney Howe IN: Slater, Smith OUT: Friend, S.Turner -one more to be omitted
STORM TRAINING THIS WEEK: Wednesday: 1.30pm-3pm, Olympic Park Friday: 1pm-2pm, City Square (press conference with captains and coaches)