Falcons foursome given chance to crack Storm squad
A group of Sunshine Coast Falcons players have flown south in a bid to nab an NRL contract.
Tyson Smoothy, Paul Ulberg, Patrice Siolo and Bessie Aufuga-Toomaga have taken up six-week train and trial offers with the Melbourne Storm.
Falcons Coach Sam Mawhinney said it's an exciting time for the group.
"The writing is there, we've seen Chris Lewis, Darryn Schonig and Nicho Hynes in recent years that have gone down on train and trails' and they've turned into full time contracts," Mawhinney said.
"So there's no reason now why the group that have gone down there can't do the same thing."
Mawhinney said the foursome have a huge amount of talent to offer.
"Tyson is only a young kid he's got a big future," he said.
"Paul has played 9's footy for the Cook Islands and played in the team of the tournament so he's got some talent.
"Big Bessie he can be anything and Patrice as well he's been in NRL systems.
"I think for those guys it's up to them to take the opportunity but certainly it wouldn't surprise me if they stayed down there longer term."
The coach said there is some concern however about getting the boys back on board after the six weeks.
"That's all depending on borders and everything," he said.
"We will hopefully get them back after that leading into their first trial against the Jets.
"Spending time in that Melbourne Storm environment is only going to help them.
"Obviously there's challenges around getting them back into our group but we think we can deal with that."
As for the remaining squad, the Colts premiership winning coach said there's plenty of hard work to do right here.
"It's exciting to be back in 21' and looking ahead to the season - not long before we'll be back into games," he said.
"We pride ourselves on working really hard and there's no substitute for working really hard.
"Just trying to get a little bit of that cohesiveness together around how we want to play with the footy as well."
The Sunshine Coast Falcons will play three trial matches before the start of the regular Intrust Super Cup season.
They'll meet the Ipswich Jets on February 20, the CQ Capras on February 27 and Norths Devils on March 6.