Christian Welch calls on Melbourne Storm to prepare for powerful NZ Warriors side on Anzac Day

“I probably wouldn’t run at the bloke again off a dropout, that was a bit of a mistake but it was such a great contest through the middle and we’ll go over some things we could do better.

“I was feeling pretty good after but I was a bit shaken up at the time. It probably wasn’t the smartest decision, but I thought I would take the big dog on.”

While pushing his side to fix their slow starts, the latest of which saw them fell 20-0 behind to the Roosters, Welch said tackling and defence would be crucial against such a Warriors side who include the likes of 191-centimetre, 111-kilogram Ken Maumalo as one of their wingers.

“They have almost got 13 forwards with the size of wingers like Maumalo, we will have our work cut out for us,” Welch said.

“It’s such a revered day and a privilege to play on that day.

“It’s a cliche but I’m just focusing on playing well, doing my job for the team. It’s nice to play well but the fact of the matter is we still lost our first game of the year.”

The Storm have named centre Marion Seve to start on the bench in place of Ryan Papanhuyzen, while utility forward Brandon Smith has been named despite struggling with a shoulder injury.

Smith said on Monday the “best case” scenario could see him play against the Warriors, but if he can’t play forwards Patrick Kaufusi and former Warriors prop Albert Vete will be in line to replace him.

The Warriors have named former Storm playmaker Blake Green to return to the side after battling a groin injury ,while Kiwi international Gerard Beale returns on the wing and long-time Storm forward Tohu Harris could play his first Anzac Day game against his old club after missing last year’s game.

The Storm play the Warriors at AAMI Park on Anzac Day at 7.55pm.

Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.

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