The Melbourne Storm have unveiled a six-man leadership group to guide the club into their next era, including newly-appointed captain, Christian Welch.

Former captain Jesse Bromwich has departed Victoria for the the Dolphins, taking fellow forwards Felise Kaufusi and brother Kenneath Bromwich with him, while the Sydney Roosters snatched Brandon Smith for 2022.

It's been an exodus of experience in recent seasons, adding in Cameron Smith and Dale Finucane, who left in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Welch will captain the club, with spine trio Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant named vice-captains of the side, whilst Ryan Papenhuyzen and Tom Eisenhuth make up the six-man leadership group.

The new leader was co-captain alongside Jesse Bromwich last season, however tore his achilles in the opening game of the season.

Melbourne's CEO, Justin Rodski, believes Welch is extremely deserving of the role through his sheer resilience, and become the first sole-captain since Cam Smith retired.

“Christian has risen through the ranks at Storm since he first came to the club as a young man from Queensland,” Rodski told

“He quickly embraced what Storm is all about, loves living in Melbourne and has become enormously popular with everyone at the club and with our members and fans who I'm sure will be right behind him in 2023.

“As well as being a leader on the field, he is heavily involved in the game off the field, showing a great awareness of the positive differences the game can make in our community. We saw a great example of that earlier this year when he instigated a head shaving fundraiser which contributed $25,000 to Camp Quality.

“I'm sure everyone who is connected with Storm will congratulate Christian on his selection as our 2023 captain and we wish him, and our three vice-captains, all the best in their roles for the season ahead.”

Australia v New Zealand - Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final
LEEDS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Cameron Munster of Australia is tackled by Brandon Smith of New Zealand during the Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final match between Australia and New Zealand at Elland Road on November 11, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images for RLWC)

Jahrome Hughes was a member of the leadership group last year while Grant, Eisenhuth and Papenhuyzen were part of the Storm's emerging leaders group.

The only member of this year's group who wasn't 'a leader' in 2022 was Cameron Munster, however a season-long booze-ban, as well as becoming a father and fiancee, has seen the five-eighth grow up immensely in the past 15 months.

Welch will lead the Storm out next Thursday for their season opener against the Parramatta Eels as the club looks to maintain Craig Bellamy's unbeaten Round 1 streak.