Familiar faces to be affiliated with Falcons
RUGBY LEAGUE: Talented hooker Harry Grant has been named among a familiar crop of Melbourne Storm talent allocated to the Sunshine Coast Falcons for their Intrust Super Cup campaign.
Along with Grant, the 16-player list, released on Monday, features the likes of Cooper Johns, Tui Kamikamica, Justin Olam, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Sandor Earl and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui.
All hit the field at some stage for the Falcons last year, something CEO Chris Flannery believed would be a boost for the squad.
Stars Joe Stimson and Jahrome Hughes are also affiliated with the club again.
"It's looking pretty similar to what we had last year,” Flannery said.
"We're always happy with any allocated players but a lot of those players have played for the Falcons in the past so they know what to expect and how to fit into the group.”
Grant was a particularly pleasing name among the allocations.
"Harry played some good footy for us last year and has been with us for a bit now,” he said.
"He went really well in the Courier-Mail Medal (competition's best and fairest award) and I think he only just missed out on it. If he wasn't injured in the back end of the season he might have taken it out.”
Coach Eric Smith was happy to see Grant on the list too.
"Young Harry Grant got a taste of NRL last year and was probably one of the Falcons most consistent players,” he said.
"He'll be a massive boost for us whenever he plays for us as well.”
Gympie's Tino Fa'asuamaleaui was another Smith was excited to possibly see hit the ground for the club.
"They're all going to be great players for us when, and if, we do get them,” he said.
"(But) it's great having Tino back allocated to us being a Falcons junior. He started the season with us last year and then got moved to Easts Tigers to finish the year.
"I know the club is glad to have him back and if he gets the chance to come and play some games for us (it will be great). I think he's definitely a young talent who's on the rise.”
Flannery was also glad to see Tui Kamikamica and Olam, the Falcons Best Back award recipient in 2018, allocated to Falcons.
"It's always good to get Tui back but from all reports he's been playing pretty well with Storm so we may not see much of him,” he said.
With Melbourne set to play their season-opener next Thursday, Smith said it was unlikely Storm talent would be included in their round one team line-up when it is revealed on Tuesday.
Falcons take on Wynnum Manly Seagulls on Saturday (5.30pm).