Storm boss insists Bellamy's purple reign is still cloudy
"We?'re leaving it for him to decide. He said he'll make that decision before he goes away with the side to England for the World Club Challenge" ... Storm CEO Ron Gauci. Photo: Wayne Taylor
MELBOURNE chief executive Ron Gauci has denied the Storm have received word from coach Craig Bellamy informing them of his future beyond this season.
Speculation that Bellamy, who is off contract at the end of this season, had rejected a multimillion dollar deal from St George Illawarra to re-sign with Melbourne gathered momentum on Tuesday afternoon.
But Gauci, away on holidays, denied a deal had been struck and was still awaiting a decision from Bellamy.
Popular figure … Craig Bellamy celebrates Melbourne's triumph in last year's grand final. Photo: Getty Images
''We've had several conversations recently but not any conversation about that,'' Gauci said. ''We're leaving it for him to decide. He said he'll make that decision before he goes away with the side to England for the World Club Challenge.''
Football manager Frank Ponissi, also away on holidays, said he spoke to Bellamy on Monday night and made no mention of a pending decision.
''That's news to me,'' Ponissi said of the rumour. ''I spoke to Craig only yesterday. He said he's going to make a decision before England and I certainly don't expect a decision immediately.'' A Dragons source said the club had not been informed of a decision.
Meanwhile, Dragons prop Michael Weyman is eyeing a round-one return from a season-ending knee injury. Weyman had just worked himself back into the representative frame before his knee gave way in round 10 last season.
Weyman has been dogged by a chronic groin injury for the last three seasons, which coincided with his dumping from the representative scene, but after an impressive start to last season, found himself on the cusp of NSW selection. That is when his knee gave way.
On a cold night at the foot of the mountains against Penrith, Weyman was taken from the field after suffering a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear. ''It always helps to have your name tossed up for [Origin],'' Weyman said. ''That's just footy - you've got to move on and roll with the punches I guess.''
The 28-year-old, who has his sights set on a return to the paddock against the Rabbitohs in the annual Charity Shield clash on February 22, treated the injury as a blessing in disguise. The debilitating injury came just two weeks after the birth of his first child, daughter Lila, giving the former Canberra prop a lot more time to spend at home with his young family.
''I was lucky in a way that my daughter was only two weeks old when I did my knee,'' Weyman said.
''That helped a lot. You see your best mates every week go out there and do their best. You just wish you were out there. I'm back running again. I'm not far off full running and training. It's just one of those things you have to take slow. I hope to be back by [round one]. I'd love to get a trial under my belt, Charity Shield if all comes to plan.''
■ All 16 NRL coaches have been invited to a meeting at Rugby League Central on Wednesday. It will be the first time new referees' boss Daniel Anderson has spoken with the coaches.