With the talk of Cooper Cronk going to Sydney, everyone is wondering where his next destination is, but a bigger question for the Melbourne Storm looms; who will replace him?
Here are some options for Craig Bellamy.
Brodie Croft (Melbourne Storm)
The highly touted Croft has been spoken as Cronk’s successor.
With a similar game based on control and organisation, it would be sensible for the young prodigy to fill the shoes of his mentor.
The Storm are a club that like to develop their own players as opposed to splashing the cash at off contract targets, and this very well could be the option that Bellamy goes for.
Ata Hingano (Warriors)
The arrival of Kieran Foran has shafted rookie half Ata Hingano back to reserve grade, but if you’ve seen the kid play you’ll know it’s the last place he belongs.
Much like Croft, plenty have big wraps on the 19 year old, who’s performed admirably at NRL level for the inconsistent Warriors.
We all know that players go to another level down in Melbourne, and it could just be the place for him to develop his game alongside fellow countrymen in the Bromwich brothers.
Kieran Foran (Warriors)
The former premiership winner has only played a single game for the club, but being on a one-year contract means he’s up for grabs in November.
After all the drama in his life over the past 12 months, Melbourne could provide a perfect haven for the troubled five-eighth, who has made it known he wants to be closer with his children in Australia.
Foran is a player that can take a game by the scruff of the neck and can also add spark when required, which is a very rare trait for a player to have, adding to his worth.
Gareth Widdop (Dragons)
To move forward, why not go back?
Former Storm five-eighth Gareth Widdop is in career best form in a re-invigorated Dragons side.
Now armed with experience, his familiarity in the Storm system would give the side an edge from the get-go and under a well drilled side, his game could develop even further, particularly now that he’s in the prime of his career. Let’s not forget he has leadership qualities too as the current Dragons captain.
Chad Townsend (Sharks)
After winning a premiership with his childhood team, Sharks halfback Chad Townsend will be looking to test out the market; and it’s rumoured the Storm had the microscope on him even before Cronk had asked for a release.
Townsend is looking more and more likely to become a top like halfback with every game he plays, and there’s no doubt that playing alongside the likes of Billy Slater and Cameron Smith could get him to greater heights.
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