No NRL deal for Russell


PAPUA New Guinea Kumul Dan Russell missed out on a National Rugby League (NRL) contract after he completed a six-week train-and-trial stint with the Melbourne Storm in the pre-season.
But before his side’s Queensland Intrust Super Cup (ISC) round-six clash with the SP Hunters, the Brisbane Tigers centre told The National that he was hopeful of securing another first-grade opportunity.
Russell said he had sustained a knee injury in the final two weeks of his Melbourne stint.
“The injury had kept me out of the Tigers’ games since round one,” the 25-year-old said.
“It was only in round five (match against Wynnum Manly Seagulls) that I made my debut for the Tigers.
“So the round-six match against the Hunters will only be my second ISC match this season.
“So going forward, it’s just about hitting the ground running and playing my best footy week in, week out.
“Now is about letting my footy do the talking, playing consistently and hope for an NRL opportunity again.”
Russell, who played three Tests for PNG, said the Tigers were the feeder club of Melbourne and that he would benefit from playing alongside Storm-listed players like Brenko Lee and Marion Seve.
He said the Tigers were a professional club.
“They have great facilities with a great playing group which has made it super easy for myself,” the 25-year-old said.
“Having the Storm players come back from Melbourne each weekend is definitely beneficial as they are always willing to help and give you directions where needed.
“So that will help my game.”