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Storm injury toll opens door for Hughes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/06/2017 Melissa Woods

Injury-ravaged Melbourne are set to blood another rookie, with New Zealander Jahrome Hughes to make his Storm debut in their NRL blockbuster against the Sydney Roosters in Adelaide on Saturday night.

Four of Melbourne's five Queensland State of Origin representatives - skipper Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Will Chambers - won't back up for the top-of-the-table clash at Adelaide Oval.

Prop Tim Glasby is the only Maroon set to play.

Hughes is likely to start at either fullback or five-eighth with Cameron Munster filling the other position as coach Craig Bellamy struggles to finalise his line-up in the wake of such a devastating injury toll.

Five-eighth option Ryley Jacks was ruled out earlier in the week with a groin injury.

Hughes, 22, was born and raised in Wellington before shifting Queensland in his early teens.

He made his NRL debut for Gold Coast as an 18-year-old in 2013 but due to injury didn't get another opportunity until last season in round 12 for North Queensland.

Hughes shifted south to Melbourne this year to learn from the best in the business in Slater and Bellamy.

"Jahrome's been playing five-eighth in our Queensland Cup side but like Cameron Munster he can also play fullback," Melbourne Football Director Frank Ponissi said.

"It will be a similar side to last week and the upside is that they've already had two weeks training together as well as the match against North Queensland so it's not as dire as it sounds."

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