Coach Bellamy has gripe about NRL draw for next season

IT MIGHT have been his first day back on the job preparing his team for an NRL title defence, but Storm coach Craig Bellamy wasted no time slamming the draw for 2013.

Bellamy said he may leave some of his best players at home for the round two clash against the Cowboys in Townsville, given the health risk that could result from backing up just five days later against the Bulldogs.

"We feel we've been shafted by that five-day turnaround," he said.

"I'm really concerned about our players' welfare. If it's dangerous for some of our players, they won't be playing up there.

"It's time for the Players Association to get in there and say this is about player's welfare ... at least ask the question about what the effect is on the players."

Bellamy said he agreed with Manly coach Geoff Toovey that elements of the draw, including short back-ups for some teams and not others, made the competition "a little bit uneven".

While the coach was back, after a break that included visits to rugby and soccer clubs in France and England, and also to Red Bull's motor racing facility in England, many of the club's star players have yet to return.

Kiwi internationals Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor will be back next week, and Ryan Hoffman, Brett Finch and Jason Ryles the following week.

And after a torturous season that culminated in the Test match against New Zealand in Townsville in October, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater have been told to come back after Christmas.

"It's a big year (with the World Cup) so we're trying to keep them as fresh as possible for as long as possible," Bellamy said.

Topics:  craig bellamy draw melbourne storm nrl rugby league

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Aussies carve watermelons as Halloween becomes 'Aussie'

It is no longer something that Americans do. It is here to stay

Dreamworld boss breaks silence with message to family

Deborah Thomas faced the media today after the AGM.

"I am a mother, I have a family. I take my family to Dreamworld."

Dreamworld ride worker: "It couldn't have been foreseen"

A former Dreamworld senior ride operator has broken his silence

Local Partners

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June