Storm coach Craig Bellamy said the ''little reminder" he issued to Jahrome Hughes upon his return to training helped the Kiwi international land the fullback jersey for round one.
Bellamy wasn't happy with the condition Hughes presented himself in when he returned to the Storm's pre-season work after New Zealand's tour of England and his summer break.
The pectoral injury suffered by Josh Drinkwater during the trials left Hughes as the logical choice to take the jersey vacated by Billy Slater at the end of 2018.
A few choice words from master-motivator Bellamy have Hughes ready to fire for the season opener against Brisbane at AAMI Park on Thursday night.
"He [Hughes] is lucky he wasn't around 15 years ago," Bellamy joked.
"I am not sure how much training he did while he was over there [on the Kiwi's tour of England] and I am not sure how much training he did when he came back.
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"But to his credit, he has worked real hard since his little reminder. We know he can certainly play NRL as he has done a good job in the past.
"There are going to be times where he is going to be under pressure, but he has played first grade before and we are very confident that he will be able to handle it."
Due to the fact the Broncos will have new coach Anthony Seibold pulling the strings for the first time in an official capacity, Bellamy knows the recent history between the clubs will count for little.
He [Hughes] is lucky he wasn't around 15 years agoCraig Bellamy speaking about Jahrome Hughes
"What's happened in the past doesn't really matter tomorrow night," Bellamy said at AAMI Park on Wednesday morning.
"It's about what we bring tomorrow night and what the Broncos bring and it should be a highly entertaining game."
The Storm head into their clash having lost their two trial matches over the pre-season, which Bellamy admitted wasn't the perfect way to enter a blockbuster clash at home.
"We will have to improve a lot from what we did in the trials," he said.
"After our trial I probably would have liked another week or two [to prepare], but I often think that after trial matches.
"But our guys have prepared pretty well this week ... hopefully we can play well tomorrow night."
The Storm have won their last five matches against Brisbane but enter 2019 having lost a host of experience from their 2018 squad.
As well as Slater's departure, Ryan Hoffman (retirement) and Tim Glasby (Knights) also departed the club.