Saturday 19 August 2017 / 01:36 PM

RECRUITMENT WATCH: STORM

Next up in his NRL Recruitment Watch series, NICK TEDESCHI breaks down who the Melbourne Storm may be looking at, who they should be going after, and the areas on the roster that need shoring up for 2018.

Needs: The departure of Cooper Cronk has forced the Storm into the rare position of needing to replace a superstar. Blue-chip halfbacks are not easy to find though so Melbourne may look to spend in areas they typically don’t: the outside backs or the forwards, with Melbourne really in need of engine-room stocks. Nate Myles has made the move south mid-season.

2018 Recruits: Nate Myles

2018 Losses: Cooper Cronk, Tohu Harris, Jordan McLean, Dean Britt

Off-Contract: Billy Slater, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Slade Griffin, Mark Nicholls, Jeremy Hawkins

Rumours: Sam Kasiano is close to signing a long-term deal with Melbourne. Gareth Widdop has been linked to a return to the Storm but that seems highly unlikely now Josh Dugan has departed the Dragons. Melbourne are expected to get Sisa Waqa back.

Players to Target: There are no top-line halves on the open market so unless the Storm can pry a player out of a club they will be going with Ryley Jacks or Brodie Croft in the No.7 jersey. There are plenty of forward options though who would be perfect fits for the Storm. Making a play at Alex Glenn would be an excellent move, as would trying to bring back Robbie Rochow to the fold.

Dave Taylor has let people down everywhere he has gone but he is a reclamation project Craig Bellamy could pull off. Charlie Gubb and Tim Grant are no-nonsense forwards who would thrive in the Storm system. If Melbourne do look for an experienced half, Tyrone Roberts would probably be the best off-contract option.

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About the author

Nick Tedeschi

You will not find a more passionate rugby league man than Nick, whose Making The Nut column has garnered a huge cult following over the last decade. The Sydney-based raconteur co-authored The Book of NRL Lists with CBS stablemate WILL EVANS in 2014 and has penned several other books; he joined the CBS team with his weekly Six Up The Middle feature in 2016.

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