Storm X-Factor: Will Chambers

Arguably the biggest loss for the Melbourne Storm in 2009 is that of Test centre Israel Folau. After all, it’s not easy to replace a 195cm, 103kg outside back with speed and skill. <br><br>But with Folau gone, the Storm have a ready-made replacement in uber-talented centre Will Chambers, who finally gets his chance to become a first grade footballer. <br><br>For so long Chambers was on the periphery at the Storm and while his talent was never in question, Chambers had to bide his time on the Storm’s seemingly never-ending production line of outside backs.<br><br>Men with names like Inglis, Folau, Turner and King all got their crack before him, but as a raw teenager it seemed a fair decision.<br><br>Then at the end of the 07 season Matt King left for the UK, leaving a gaping hole in the backline and Chambers made the spot his own scoring three tries in the first ten games, until a season-ending knee injury struck him down and the promising kid from the Northern Territory was once again left to watch his teammates play finals footy.<br><br>“No question it was frustrating, but there isn’t much you can do except put in the work and get back to playing footy.”<br><br>Chambers returns in 2009 having had a knee reconstruction and his pre-season form suggests he is fully recovered as he scored a try in his only trial game.<br><br>He has now had one trial game back for the Storm and was impressive in his 70 minutes in the 20-6 victory against the Broncos and most importantly his knee felt good afterwards.<br><br>“It felt pretty good having my first game after 10 months. The knee was a bit sore after the game, but that was expected and it’s been good since.<br><br>“I was a bit apprehensive putting weight on it to begin with, but I’ve got my confidence back and I’m hoping to cement my spot in the side and have a good season.”<br><br>Even with Folau gone the Storm aren’t losing much in size out wide with the 188cm, 100kg Chambers. With the rest of their backline intact the Melbourne side look as difficult a prospect as ever. Chambers though is just looking forward to being a part of it.<br><br>“There’s not a lot of change in the backs. Greg Inglis, Billy Slater, Steve Turner, Anthony Quinn and Cooper Cronk are all still there; it’s exciting to be a part of that backline if I am picked.”<br><br>One gets the feeling Chambers will be picked and often. After the trial game against Brisbane, coach Craig Bellamy had nothing but praise for Chambers.<br><br>“I thought he was excellent. He hasn't played for nine or 10 months and I thought his game tonight was tremendous,” said Bellamy.<br><br>And in his last season for the club before heading elsewhere Chambers wants it to be a big one.<br><br>“I’m not thinking about it really, but I want to have a good season and help the club to another finals campaign.”<br><br>