Koroibete expected to exit Storm
A frustrated Craig Bellamy has given the strongest indication yet that exciting winger Marika Koroibete will leave the club for rugby union at the end of the 2016 season.
Speculation has been rife that the Fijian would be the latest cross-code convert and it appears the deal is all but done for Koroibete to join the Melbourne Rebels.
Koroibete would be a huge loss for the Storm, with the 23-year-old finishing the 2015 season as the Storm's leading try-scorer – scoring 16 tries in 23 games.
Speaking ahead of Friday's double-header at Suncorp Stadium, Bellamy has called on the NRL to help clubs keep players who are offered exorbitant amounts of money by rival sporting codes.
"We aren't quite sure, but I'm expecting him to go to rugby union. It's a bit of a shame," Bellamy said.
"At the end of the day, the NRL will give us an advantage if we go and buy a rugby union player from somewhere. We'll get that player on the salary cap in his first year for nothing, but here we have players leaving our game to go to rugby union and we can't get any help at all from the governing body. That seems to be a little bit strange to me.
"The same thing happened when Parramatta wanted to sign Israel Folau a few years ago. There were roadblocks put up and here we are again with Marika, there's so many of our fans and fans of the game that love watching him play.
"As I said, because of financial reasons it looks like we're going to lose him and that's not ideal for the game or us.
"We should be looking at trying to keep our best players in our game, especially when they are offered the money available in rugby union.
"You get a benefit if you sign a rugby union player for 12 months, but you don't get any help to keep players who are offered a lot of money in rugby union."
If Koroibete does sign, it would be the second Storm outside back in 12 months that has left the club for rugby union after Matt Duffie signed to play for the Auckland Blues at the start of this year.
"It's not as if we get nothing for having Koroibete at the club because he's been wonderful here for 18 months and we'll have him for the rest of the season," Bellamy said.
"He's a wonderful player and he's an exciting player to watch because of his aggression and speed. When he runs the ball, you need to be committed to stop him. Young kids love seeing that so it makes him a fan favourite."