Sport

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




Jupiter and Venus in closest encounter for 50 years

Even with a small telescope the heaven will reveal plenty of their mysteries.

most people will be able to see with the naked eye

The Beatle Boys are 'Fabulous'

The World's premier Beatles band presents the Beatles No1's at the Pilbeam Theatre on Saturday September 3.

The Fabulous Beatle Boys bring magic to Pilbeam Theatre next month

1500 in attendance at Gold and Coal Festival

STRIKING GOLD: Lachlan Millar, MP for Gregory, Mayor Anne Baker and Cr Dale Appleton.

Crowds gathered to attend Clermont's Gold and Coal Festival

Latest deals and offers

Maryborough couple's wedding turned in a viral nasty joke

UNHAPPY: Maryborough couple Emma and Steven Dilliway who star on Australia's Cheapest Wedding and are not happy with the outcome.

Reality television helped turn this wedding into an internet joke

The Beatle Boys are 'Fabulous'

The World's premier Beatles band presents the Beatles No1's at the Pilbeam Theatre on Saturday September 3.

The Fabulous Beatle Boys bring magic to Pilbeam Theatre next month

John Krasinski has better sex now he's in good shape

John Krasinski says there's at least one good reason to get jacked

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa