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Bellamy keen for restart but isolation will be strain on players' families

Craig Bellamy has backed Cameron Smith after the Storm skipper raised concerns over the prospect of players leaving their families for an extended period in a bid to get the NRL season restarted.

Melbourne are almost guaranteed to be one of the clubs that has to relocate its squad if the competition is split into a conference-style format.

Bellamy, who has some members of his squad training in isolation across NSW and Queensland with the game on hiatus, said the impact on families should be included in discussions.

"I'm a bit in the middle there, obviously I want the game to get back up and running but also the health and safety of our players and community has got to be number one [priority]," Bellamy told SEN radio on Wednesday.

"A lot of these guys have got young families and it's a huge ask for them to leave their families and put it on their partners to look after the house and kids.

"That was always going to be a big ask, especially if it's going to be a reasonable time of three or four months.

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"Dale Finucane summed it up the other day, he said he needs to support his family but provide for them as well.

"He's got a son that's about to turn one and if he goes into isolation he'll miss his first birthday and a lot of things.

"It would be a strain on his partner who doesn't have any family in Melbourne. The other thing with Dale was that he needs to provide shelter and food for his family.

"That's a decision he'll have to make. I think most guys will go along with it but it will be a strain on families."

Smith was criticised following the Storm's opening-round clash against Manly for questioning why the NRL was at that stage continuing into the second week as the coronavirus cases began to rise in March.

Bellamy said Smith, who has done everything in the game at club, state and Test level, deserved to have a say on matters within the game.

"There's some people in our game that whatever Cameron says they'll just go against him for whatever reason," Bellamy said.

"The one thing about Cameron Smith is he'll always have the game at heart. He's a very smart guy and very considered. He doesn't say things without believing in them.

"I think we should take more notice of him more often. The situation with our game at the moment [changes hourly]. Obviously there's been a lot of ideas thrown round. How they're going to put it together I'm not sure.

"Hopefully with the help from our government we can find a way to still play our game."

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