Storm would feel ‘very comfortable’ on Coast: CEO
RUGBY LEAGUE: Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy says players will feel "very comfortable" temporarily basing themselves on the Sunshine Coast.
While a decision is yet to be finalised, the Storm have listed the region as a preferred option to set up base for an indefinite amount of time after a spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria forced their relocation to Sydney earlier this week.
With strong connections to the Coast, Donaghy said it "makes a lot of sense" to call the region home while Victoria gets the infection rate under control.
"We've got a great relationship with council on the Sunshine Coast. We've got a longstanding relationship with our feeder team in the Falcons and obviously we're in partnership with the University of the Sunshine Coast and a have got majority stake in the Sunshine Coast Lightning who are terrific organisation in netball," he said.
"So, certainly there is a lot of appeal about the Sunshine Coast and I know that if it's where we ended up after the game on Friday, I'm sure the team and everyone in the bubble would feel very comfortable with being based there."
However, he stressed that were still a few boxes to tick for them to make the shift and was hopeful a decision could be made by Friday night.
If they were to base themselves on the Coast, Donaghy said it was highly likely they'd play their games out of Suncorp Stadium.
While their game next week was against Sydney, Donaghy said it was still preferred to head north to the Sunshine State rather than stay put in Tri-Colour territory.
"We're giving up a home game in Melbourne and I don't think we should be required to play that home game in front of and in Roosters territory," he said.
"The guys have got a good record there (Suncorp Stadium) for a lot of our players, (Cameron) Smith, (Cameron) Munster, (Felise) Kaufusi, (Christian) Welch. They're (Queensland) Origin players and it's been like a second home for those guys for a period of time so it'd have a level of familiarity for them, which would be important."
While exciting for the region, a Melbourne Storm staff member stressed the club would still be under strict NRL COVID protocols meaning no open training sessions and no signing sessions for fans.