Melbourne Storm rookie, Munster, ready to step up
CAMERON Munster has always been a man of action, but it's his new-found talk that has Storm teammates praising their star recruit as a leader of men.
Munster arrived in Melbourne in November 2013 shy and reluctant to speak direction, but squad members are now marvelling at his confidence in the backs.
Munster attributes his transformation at the Storm to his personal growth and teachings from the game's best fullback, Billy Slater.
"I can see in my game that I'm maturing as a player and person," he said.
"Playing and training alongside some of the games greatest footballers, Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith, is nerve-racking and surreal but I've learnt a lot from them.
"The way they carry themselves is very professional. They train like they play and I'm constantly in awe of what they do."
Munster starred in his seventh NRL match for 2015 against the Brisbane Broncos last Sunday, playing alongside fellow Central Queenslanders Tim Glasby and Kurt Mann.
Former St Brendan's students Ben Hunt and Corey Oates (Broncos) added to the region's playing ranks at AAMI Park.
"It's always good to play with and against former CQ boys," Munster said. "It's nice to see a couple of familiar faces out there on the playing and training paddocks."
The former Emmaus College student, who played his club footy with Norths Knights/Chargers, has created plenty of attention since coming in to replace the injured Slater.
Munster is signed at the Storm until the end of 2017 but remained tight-lipped yesterday when asked about Slater's season-ending shoulder surgery.
"It's based on a week-in, week-out basis as to when and whether I play," he said. "The ball is in my court now. I have to keep playing well and learning... if I want to hold my position in the NRL."
At 20, the speedy youngster is destined to be a 10-year NRL player with Canberra, the Bulldogs, Eels, Dragons and Knights already showing interest.
But the boom rookie has confirmed his loyalty to the Storm despite interest from rival clubs.
"I always went for the Broncos when I was younger and wanted to play for them but Storm instilled their faith in me and I am happy to remain loyal to them," Munster said.
"I'm still pinching myself after being offered the opportunity to play rugby league professionally. I won't ever take that for granted."
Munster will face plenty of hurdles in his first few seasons in the top grade but he has the work ethic and persistence to succeed.
"I just want to play well and do my job; a lot of talking," Munster said.
"Being young in the competition I'm always going to be tested under the high ball so I'll keep working hard."