You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Storm halfback Cooper Johns.

Untried youngster Cooper Johns is desperate to make his NRL debut and the Melbourne Storm halfback believes he can make an immediate impact when given the chance.

The off-season departure of Brodie Croft to the Broncos leaves a question mark as to who will partner Cameron Munster in the halves, with Kiwi Jahrome Hughes likely to get first chance to nail down the No.7 jersey.

Johns and new recruit Ryley Jacks will be out to keep the heat on Hughes.

The coming season will be Johns' third at the Storm and the 20-year-old said it has only been recently that his body has started to get used to the rigours of being a professional footballer.

"In my first year here I was a lot smaller than I am now and I was still very young and straight out of school," Johns told

Soward's Say: 2020 Storm

"Over time I have adapted more to the training, got a lot stronger, got a lot fitter and that has ultimately led to me training a lot better.

"This is the first year I have had the chance to get a couple of NRL trials under my belt so hopefully I can have a good season."

While Johns has been doing some training at fullback during the pre-season, he predominantly plays most of his football at halfback and this may work against him when coach Craig Bellamy considers who may fill his bench positions for round one clash with Manly.

Storm's top five tries of 2019

Bellamy generally likes to have a utility on his bench that can fill a number of positions and the master coach has successfully used versatile Kiwi Brandon Smith in this area in recent seasons.

Smith is unlikely to be available for the opening rounds of the season due to a face injury and Johns is happy to put his hand up to play wherever his coach wants him.

"There are a few boys out there like Nicho Hynes or Tommy Eisenhuth that cover a few more positions than myself, but it is up to Craig really," he said.

"If he wants me to fill that (Smith) role I would be happy to do it."

Johns said he was only just getting used to living away from his family and friends back in Sydney, but the close-knit playing group at the Storm always made it easier for younger players to adapt.

Being away from home also means having to deal with plenty of phone calls from loved ones and Johns revealed his famous father Matt was notorious for checking in on his youngest son on a regular basis.

"He rings me every second or third day just to check in," Johns said.

"And straight after a game I come in from the field, look at my phone and I have five missed calls just from him."

But Johns wouldn't have it any other way as he plots his way through the initial stages of what looks like it might be a long and prosperous career.

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.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners