Storm ready for extension of Qld stay

Craig Bellamy says the Storm are prepared to be away from Melbourne for an indefinite period.
Craig Bellamy says the Storm are prepared to be away from Melbourne for an indefinite period.

The Storm are preparing for the likelihood they will be locked out of Melbourne until the end of State of Origin in another month's time.

The NRL premiers headed to Queensland for a two-week training camp on May 14 but have been unable to return home due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria.

Their round 13 match against Gold Coast was switched to the Sunshine Coast and their round 15 clash on June 19 with Wests Tigers has also been relocated from AAMI Park to their Queensland base.

But they are facing the possibility of staying there until after Origin III on Wednesday July 14, with the NRL not expected to risk their representative contingent - Josh Addo-Carr, Cameron Munster, Harry Grant, Christian Welch and Felise Kaufusi - being unable to travel from Melbourne to Brisbane or Sydney for the remaining matches.

With an away match and the bye during that time, they at least won't miss any more home games.

Melbourne made the most of being based on the Sunshine Coast for the 2020 season, pushing through to win the premiership.

But Storm coach Craig Bellamy said the uncertainty of the length of time away this year had been stressful, particularly for those with families, and admitted he was finding it tough.

Because they'd only planned to be away two weeks they hadn't been joined by families, and then Queensland shut borders to Victorians meaning loved ones need to quarantine in NSW for two weeks before being allowed north.

"This year there's been a lot more uncertainty about how long we're going to be away," Bellamy told AAP.

"We realised pretty early last year when it got out of control in Melbourne that we were going to be up here for a whole heap longer.

"It was easier for families to make a decision whether to come up or not because we knew we were going to be here for months but at the moment if the families come up they have to isolate in NSW first.

"But they might go and do that but then be heading back to Melbourne, because we don't know how long we're going to be here for.

"There's a lot more uncertainty this year which has been a challenge for everyone."

He said that at least this year the squad could venture from their resort to visit the shops or for other outings while in 2020 they remained in a strict "bubble".

"We can go and get a coffee or go to the chemist whereas last year we were locked in the resort so we can live a bit more normally - but we're very lucky compared to what's happening in Melbourne."

Australian Associated Press