Bellamy calls on NRL to beef up development incentives
Storm coach Craig Bellamy has called upon the NRL to give clubs incentives to develop young players as the race for Cameron Munster's services heats up.
As NRL.com reported on Thursday, the Roosters and Cowboys have got their sights on recruiting the star five-eighth as a marquee player to add some much-needed young legs to an ageing roster. Garth Brennan is also keen to lure Munster to the Gold Coast.
After years of investing resources and time into making Munster into a Queensland and Kangaroos representative over the last few years, Bellamy believes the Storm and clubs in similar situations should be compensated.
"I'd like to see the NRL reward clubs for developing players, just get a little percentage after they've been here a certain amount of years," Bellamy said.
"I don't know whether Cameron would come into that but if you've been here 8-10 years, recruiting them as young kids, and develop them. We just seem to lose players every year that we recruit and develop as young people."
The Storm lost Cooper Cronk (Roosters), Tohu Harris (Warriors), Jordan McLean (Cowboys) and Slade Griffin (Knights) from their 2017 premiership-winning team.
Rather than recruit superstars from other Telstra Premiership sides, the Storm have prided themselves in recruiting talented teenagers aged 16-18 and turning them into first-grade regulars.
Of the current crop, Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Jesse and Kenny Bromwich were spotted by Melbourne's recruitment scouts and have had long NRL and representative careers.
Bellamy knows that Munster's excellent form in 2018 might be ultimately be to the club's detriment, if Munster decides to leave.
"I think everyone understands and knows what calibre of player you get with Cameron Munster," he said.
"I've got no doubt there are a lot of clubs that would love to have him in their team, all the clubs in the competition probably.
"It's stating the bleeding obvious, but we want to keep him. We love him here. He's a great guy to have at your club off the field. Always up and adds a real good feel to the club and the team. Whatever we can do to keep him, we'll be doing that.
"I know some of the other clubs have got a lot of money. But I'd like to think Cameron considers too (that) we've helped develop him. Sometimes other clubs just come in and buy players, they don't develop them."
Smith and Jahrome Hughes are in contention to play against the Gold Coast on Saturday, as is Sam Kasiano who was named in the 21, but the squad will not be finalised until Friday afternoon.