The Melbourne Storm have been dealt a blow on the eve of their season opener, with club captain Jesse Bromwich ruled out of the game due to COVID-19 protocols.
Bromwich have been deemed a close contact after a family member tested positive for the virus and will be in isolation until next Wednesday.
The 32-year-old has been replaced in Craig Bellamy’s 24-man squad by Tepai Moeroa, who is in his second season with the club after 112 appearances for Parramatta.
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The Storm will be managed by Bromwich co-captain Christian Welch in his absence.
Melbourne will open their season when they travel to CommBank Stadium to take on the Wests Tigers at 7.35pm AEDT on Saturday.
The Storm aren’t the only team to receive a COVID-19 curveball before the first round, with Cronulla Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon testing positive for the virus.
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Fitzgibbon described his health as “good” and said his symptoms were “mild”, with assistants Steve Price, Josh Hannay and Daniel Holdsworth set to lead the team.
Cronulla’s season will kick off with a trip to GIO Stadium to face the Canberra Raiders on Friday night.
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