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Melbourne Storm and New Zealand prop Jesse Bromwich has been a standout performer in the NRL in 2014, according to Sam Burgess.
Even though the leaders are away it is all work and no play for the Melbourne Storm this week.

With five players away on Origin duty this week it is hardly the ideal build up for the Storm ahead of their trip north to face the Cowboys on Saturday night, however it is a situation the club is well accustomed to.

Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk will take their customary place on the Origin stage on Wednesday night, while Ryan Hoffman will play his fourth consecutive game for NSW. Will Chambers has been named as 18th man for the Maroons.

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All the above will have just two days recovery before meeting up with teammates in North Queensland to go straight into battle together in the purple guernsey.

With a combined 1081 games of NRL experience between them, these five players form the nucleus of the Storm’s sustained success.

Given their absence around AAMI Park this week, the leadership role has been assumed by the club’s fearless Kiwi prop, Jesse Bromwich. It is a responsibility the 25-year-old is more than capable of bearing.

“There are a couple of us that have played in this team for the last three or four years that really need to stand up over the next week and it is something I am really looking forward to,” Bromwich said.

“The Origin boys are gone and it is always a tough period for us. But I am also looking forward to playing with a couple of the younger boys I never usually play with, I am looking forward to the next few weeks.”

The Storm have some assistance this week, given the weekend’s opponents also have four players named to start in Origin I. Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Brent Tate will line up for the Maroons, while James Tamou will oppose them in NSW colours.

Therefore star players for both the Cowboys and Storm will be facing a race against the clock to be primed and ready when the two side’s meet.

Slater, Smith, Cronk and Hoffman are all 30 years of age now and perhaps may not be able to back up to the astonishing standard they have set in recent years. However that is not a concern that is shared by their Kiwi teammate.

“Our boys are so used to playing Origin and Tests, they usually come back and are still our best players on the day of the game,” Bromwich said.

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