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Melbourne Storm has made widespread changes, including the return of five-eighth Scott Hill, to the side that will take on Manly this Sunday at Brookvale Oval (2.30pm).
With first-choice halfback Matt Orford missing courtesy of a knee injury and Hill?s return from a four week layoff, the Storm is a different look team to the side that defeated the Sharks last week.
Hill returns for just his second match of the season after injuring his left shoulder in the round one win over the Sharks and young hooker Cameron Smith moves to halfback in Orford?s absence.
As with last week?s match Danny Williams will start at hooker while Matt Geyer returns to his wing and Fijian flyer Semi Tadulala has been pushed out to the bench.
Welsh prop Keith Mason has been omitted and either Glen Turner or 19-year-old second-rower Ryan Hoffman ? son of former Canberra hooker Jay Hoffman ? will be cut from the current 18-man squad.
After missing the Storm?s past three matches test lock Hill believes he will be at full fitness for the Sea Eagles.
?The shoulder has come along very well in the past week, the physio work I have been doing has helped a great deal lately and I pretty much have full strength back,? Hill explained.
?It?s been a bit of a roller coaster lately, I?d have a good day and then I?d think I was no chance, but the past five or six days have been great - I?m getting through ball sessions and contact work no worries.?
After taking over the reigns at halfback in the dying minutes of last week?s match, 19-year-old Smith showed immense poise and skill to convert the match wining try and steer his side to yet another memorable win over the Sharks.
The former Junior Kangaroo is no stranger to the No. 7 jersey having spent many years in the halves before assuming the role as hooker in a first grade capacity with the Storm.
?I felt pretty comfortable taking over at halfback, I?ve played a lot of my junior footy in the halves so everything comes fairly naturally to me,? Smith added.
?Getting the ball and taking it to the line with runners is very familiar to me.
?I don?t mind getting out a bit wider and having a bit of time with the ball in my hands and space to move.?
MELBOURNE STORM TEAM TO PLAY MANLY, THIS SUNDAY AT BROOKVALE OVAL, 2.30PM
1. Robbie Ross 2. Matt Geyer 3. Aaron Moule 4. Billy Slater 5. Marcus Bai 6. Scott Hill 7. Cameron Smith 8. Robbie Kearns 9. Danny Williams 10. Mitchell Sargent 11. Peter Robinson 12. Stephen Kearney (c) 13. Dallas Johnson
14. Semi Tadulala 15. David Kidwell 16. Kirk Reynoldson 17. Ryan Hoffman* 18. Glen Turner*
*One to be omitted IN: Scott Hill & Ryan Hoffman or Glen Turner OUT: Matt Orford (injured), Keith Mason (omitted)
STORM TRAINING THIS WEEK: Wednesday: 9.30am, Gosch?s Paddock Thursday: 3pm, Olympic Park Saturday 9.30am, Gosch?s Paddock
For further information contact
James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]