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Melbourne CEO calls on Commission to revisit stripped titles

Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy has called on the ARL Commission to revisit the decision to strip his side of two premierships last decade.

The Storm were found to have rorted the salary cap between 2006 and 2010 and in the process had their 2007 and 2009 premierships taken off them.

Donaghy said the way the Storm were treated - they had their premierships stripped the same week they were found to have breached the cap - was different to the way that clubs in similar strife are now handled.

Question marks continue to surround Cronulla's premiership in 2016, with Donaghy forced to clarify comments from Storm skipper Cameron Smith surrounding the treatment of the Sharks and their breach.

Sharks skipper Paul Gallen earlier on Sunday told Channel 9 he would quit if the Cronulla titles were taken away from the club and warned the Storm to be careful what they wished for because reopening the investigation into their salary cap breaches could uncover more rorts.

2019 Season Launch – A New Era

"I think it is important to take Cameron’s comments ... it wasn’t coming out and saying the Cronulla Sharks should have their premierships stripped," Donaghy said at Melbourne Storm's family day on Sunday.

"It's a case of having the view the way the Storm were treated a decade ago was vastly different to others.

"That is not saying what Melbourne Storm did at the time was right or wrong as it certainly wasn’t right.

"We think what happened back in the day was clearly vastly different to what the way some clubs these days are treated."

Donaghy wouldn't get drawn into the debate about whether Storm should have their two premierships reinstated, instead calling on the ARLC to make a decision on the issue.

"I think at some point there will be a re-assessment given the way the current administration is viewing salary cap breaches," he said.

"That’s something for the commission at some point and it’s not for us.

"It’s something at Melbourne Storm that will forever bubble away in the background, but that’s not a priority for us at this stage as our priority is Thursday night."

That is when they kick off their 2019 campaign by hosting Brisbane in a blockbuster clash that Donaghy predicted would attract a big crowd in Melbourne.

Melbourne have named a provisional 21-man squad for the AAMI Park contest, with all players in the mix to take on the Broncos presented to a big flock of fans at Goschs Paddock on Sunday.

Storm season preview - NRL Teams

Experienced centre Will Chambers has recovered from the ankle complaint he picked up when representing the Indigenous side in the NRL All Stars game last month and is expected to play, while Jahrome Hughes looks set to get first chance in the No.1 jersey after the loss of Scott Drinkwater to a pectoral tear in the recent trial against the Cowboys in Mackay.

Kiwi veteran Kenny Bromwich was excited to put a gruelling summer behind him and concentrate on helping his side improve on their runners-up finish last year.

"The intensity has been high the whole pre-season ... but a solid pre-season is always a good pre-season," he said.

"We have seen a bit of the Broncos, but we have got a bit more homework to do."

Provisional Melbourne Storm squad

Josh Addo-Carr, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Jesse Bromwich, Kenny Bromwich, Will Chambers, Brodie Croft, Tom Eisenhuth, Dale Finucane, Jahrome Hughes, Tui Kamikamica, Felise Kaufusi, Patrick Kaufusi, Cameron Munster, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Curtis Scott, Marion Seve, Brandon Smith, Cameron Smith ©, Suliasi Vunivalu, Billy Walters, Christian Welch.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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