Front-row partners Jesse Bromwich and Christian Welch will lead Melbourne Storm as captains for the 2022 NRL season.
Their appointments were announced to the Storm playing squad and staff this morning and they will be presented to the club’s partners at tonight’s Executive Club season launch at The Timber Yard at Port Melbourne.
Bromwich shared the captaincy duties with Dale Finucane last season, leading the club to the minor premiership as well as tying the all-time premiership record of 19 consecutive victories.
Welch has been a member of Storm’s leadership group for the past two seasons after being promoted from the emerging leaders group. He was also captain of the club’s under-20s team in the 2014 season.
Joining the two captains in the 2022 leadership group are Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi and last year’s Storm Player of the Year, Jahrome Hughes.
PNG international Justin Olam is the new inclusion in the emerging leaders group which also includes Ryan Papenhuyzen, Harry Grant and Tom Eisenhuth.
Bromwich, a veteran of 272 NRL matches with Storm with three premiership victories, said he was honoured to lead the club in his final season.
I’m very thankful to Craig and Frank for entrusting me with the captaincy again this season,Jesse Bromwich
“It’s a role I cherish and really enjoyed last year, although we didn’t have the ending we were after.
“It is something unusual to have two front-rowers captaining a team but I believe the different qualities we can bring to the positions will really assist us as the season rolls on.
“I’m sure Christian will prove to be a great captain of Storm and I’m looking forward to the contributions we can make to the club’s on and off-field efforts in 2022.”
With 117 Storm games and six Queensland State of Origin appearances on his record, Welch has become one of the standout front-rowers in the NRL.
He has also stepped into a significant off-field role as a board member of the Rugby League Players’ Association.
“I’ve been fortunate to be part of this club for a decade now. It’s been a huge part of my life,” Welch said.
Being captain, especially alongside Jesse, is a great honour and it was something of a surprise to be asked by Craig to do the job this year.Christian Welch
“Storm puts on a lot of onus on developing our leadership skills and I feel like I’m really well prepared to step into the role from round one next week.”
Storm General Manager – Football Frank Ponissi said Bromwich and Welch’s appointment followed the successful implementation of two captains in 2021.
"The captaincy role is a lot bigger than it was 10 years or even five years ago – and it will get even bigger in the years to come,” he said.
“We are best placed by having Christian, who has been in leadership roles since his school days, join Jesse for season 2022.
“Christian has undergone a strong leadership apprenticeship, especially over the last couple of seasons, and is ready to take that further step. He’s very natural in a leadership role, especially away from the field.
“Jesse is a natural leader in terms of leading by example. He leads by his actions whether it’s during the game or at training and he does that exceptionally well.
There will be times this season when Jesse and Christian will need our other leaders, whether in the senior leadership group or the emerging leaders, to take on extra responsibilities and we’re confident they will do that and do us and themselves proud.Frank Ponissi Storm General Manager - Football