Melbourne Storm star Josh Addo-Carr has been granted a short leave of absence away from the teams hub and is set to miss the Storm’s clash against the Panthers to be with his partner for the birth of their child.
Addo-Carr was named in the original squad to face Penrith, but a change of circumstances has meant Paul Momirovski will get his chance to play his first game with the Storm, who the club signed on a loan deal from the Wests Tigers.
Momirovski and outside back Marion Seve could be the two likely players that take on Addo-Carr’s role on the wing.
Halfback Jahrome Hughes has made quick progress on a return to the squad after surgery to repair a broken hand less than two weeks ago, and while he was only set to miss 2-3 weeks and putting his hand up for selection, the Storm have opted to stick with current starter Ryley Jacks to give Hughes a bit more time.
Coach Craig Bellamy believes Jacks has earned his spot to remain in the squad after playing an important role in last weeks victory against Newcastle.
“Ryley did all the little things off the ball [last game] that we see as important to the team,” Bellamy said.
“He always does a good job, he’s a really good, solid player.”
Bellamy has also had nothing but good things to say about loan signing Momirovski, who has shown an ability to be flexible and play in multiple positions including on the wing, full-back, or even five-eighth.
With Addo-Carr to miss the Panthers clash, Bellamy is keen to give Momirovski an opportunity to show what he can do for the club.
“He’s impressed everyone here with his attitude, he asks a lot of questions and gives his opinion when he’s got one,” Bellamy said.
“We are busting to give him a chance. But I need to be fair to the other guys in the team too.”
The Storm have had issues at half-back over the last couple of seasons, and Bellamy would like to see some continuity instead of consistently changing the squad around to fill the void.
Jacks and up and coming back Cooper Johns are currently just behind Hughes in the pecking order at half-back after he was moved to the spot from full-back last season, but with the injury, this could be their time to shine.
“We would prefer to have the one half-back there but injuries, other situations happen,” Bellamy said.
“Jahrome hasn’t played a whole heap of half-back. Ryley has always done a really good job for us in his time here.
“We would prefer to go with just the one half-back but we have to be adaptable as well.”