Bromwich firms for Storm starting spot
With Kevin Proctor now at the Titans and fellow Kiwi international Tohu Harris set to join the Warriors in 2018, there has never been a better time to be an experienced edge forward in the Storm system.
Having been stuck behind the representative pair for the best part of four seasons, Kenny Bromwich now has the opportunity to join his brother Jesse in the starting side in what would be a dream come true for the Manurewa Marlins juniors.
Bromwich is coming off a career-best year that saw him play in all of Melbourne's 27 matches, although 21 of those were from the bench.
But with Proctor already gone, and Harris set to depart at the end of the season, the 25-year-old is perfectly placed to play bigger minutes in 2017 and push for more Test honours after making his international debut last season.
While Bromwich acknowledged the magnitude of Harris's departure, he knows he now has an opportunity to cement a spot in Melbourne's starting side and make the position his own for many years to come.
"Tohu is going to be a massive loss for us. He's been massive for the club and he's always been a good friend to me in Melbourne. I'm sad to see him leave, but in saying that, he's got to do what's best for him and his family," he told NRL.com.
"There are a few spots open there and I'm targeting one of those starting spots. It'll be good to have a crack at it this year and hopefully put my name in the hat for one of those spots.
"I'll play anywhere if I have to. If the coach wants me to be the utility then I'll gladly do it, but I prefer it in the middle or on an edge.
"If I got the chance to, and if my fitness was sweet, then I'd love to have a go at 80-minute football on a weekly basis. But we'll see how we go this year… baby-steps first."
Bromwich skippered the Storm in their 30-18 trial win over the Warriors on the Sunshine Coast last weekend in a promising sign that coach Craig Bellamy has faith in him as both a leader and a starter.
However, with stiff competition from Felise Kaufusi and Joe Stimson, Bromwich said it was hard to get a read on who Bellamy would pick for the vacant right-edge forward role for Round 1.
"He (Bellamy) has pretty good at hiding his thoughts from all the boys," he said.
"He's been rotating the boys at training to see how we're going, and I think the pre-season trials will be a good test to see who gets the spot."