Finucane finding feet at Storm

If the Dragons are to get off to a winning start in 2015 they must do what no side has done in 14 years - beat the Melbourne Storm first up.

You have to go back to 2001 for the last time Melbourne lost their season opening game.

That 10-14 defeat to the Bulldogs remains one of only two Round 1 losses the Victorian side has experienced since entering the competition in 1998.

Before you drop your head too far Dragons fans, we should probably point out that the Storm have lost their past four away games against the Red V, with their last win coming back in Round 5, 2007.

To see Dale Finucane's full player profile go to melbournestorm.com.au

Monday night's prime time clash has all the makings of an early-season nail biter with the ledger split at three games apiece between the two sides in their recent meetings.

St George Illawarra walked away with a 24-12 win in Round 16 last year while a controversial match-winning try to Young Tonumaipea saw the Storm snatch the unlikeliest of victories earlier in the year.

The Dragons will boast four club debutants including Dane Nielsen and former Storm prop George Rose while Rory O'Brien and Eto Nabuli will get their first taste of NRL footy.

With the Dragons boasting a seemingly rejuvenated squad after a disappointing 2014, the visitors are wary of what awaits them at Jubilee Oval.

"We have been doing a little bit of video on them and will obviously look at their key players such as Dugan," Melbourne recruit Dale Finucane said. 

"He's obviously a really good go-forward for them coming out of their yardage zones. Merrin is one as well, I'm not sure whether he'll start on the bench or not but he is a key player for them."

Finucane has been named to start at lock for his first game in purple since crossing from the Bulldogs on a three-year deal.

His inclusion has shifted Ryan Hinchcliffe to the bench in the veteran's 150th game for the club, but the new recruit admits that was always the plan since arriving at AAMI Park back in December.

"Obviously that was one of my big ambitions when I came to the club, I wanted to play larger minutes than what I had been previously and be a starting player," Finucane said.

"This weekend gives me that opportunity to try and cement that for the year.

"We've got a lot of guys in my role at the club and I guess Hinchy is one of those as well as a number of younger guys. I guess that makes it good for me every week in terms of competition and wanting to hold your spot."

The Storm and Dragons will kick off their 2015 campaigns at 7pm AEDT on Monday night at Jubilee Oval.

Video courtesy of melbournestorm.com.au