Harris ready for Hoffman role: Proctor
While Melbourne may have a host of familiar faces ready to go around yet again in 2015 there will be one notable absentee.
Former club stalwart Ryan Hoffman will be plying his trade across the ditch this season after commencing his three-year deal with the Warriors.
With Hoffman's departure the club saw 244 games of NRL experience walk out the door, leaving a significant hole to fill in the second row.
Before you get too down in the dumps Storm fans, the man tipped to fill that void has certainly shown enough promise to prove he is up to the task.
Tohu Harris has just 50 games of first-grade experience but has been a picture of consistency, missing just one game since making his debut in Round 1, 2013.
After two years of coming off the bench the 23-year-old finally now has the chance to cement himself in the club's starting side.
Teammates admit there has been a change in the dressing room with Hoffman not around but they have full faith that his replacement is more than capable of stepping up.
"It has because he (Hoffman) is always the life of the party around training and the locker room. He was always a bit of a larrikin," fellow second rower Kevin Proctor told NRL.com.
"But T (Harris) has slotted in there well. Even though we are going to miss Hoff a bit, T has added another dimension to his game and will fit in well at that starting position."
With Proctor and Harris the Storm will be looking at an all-Kiwi second row this season.
The 26-year-old Proctor had an eventful 2014, playing every game of the season, including New Zealand's Four Nations triumph as well as becoming a father for the first time.
But his biggest test came as speculation surrounded his future in Melbourne. Reports were circling that Proctor was on his way to Canberra before a seemingly last-minute turnaround saw the Kiwi international sign a new four-year deal to stay in Victoria.
Proctor admits he has a clearer head this season now that no such distractions stand in his way. He also understands one of his key roles now lies in helping the next generation, including Harris, to cement themselves at first grade level.
"I'm always trying to lead by example with the younger guys because we do have such a young group but I need to do it even more this year with so much experience taken out of this team," Proctor said.
"That's what I've been trying to do all pre-season, step up leadership wise, and hopefully I can do that on Monday."
The Storm travel to Jubilee Oval to kick off their 2015 season against the Dragons at 7pm on Monday night.