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Blues flyer Clarke keeping tabs on Storm

While he’s a huge South Sydney fan, All Blacks winger Caleb Clarke is taking special notice of the Melbourne Storm this season after their recruitment of Will Warbrick.

An Olympic silver medal-winning Sevens player with New Zealand in Tokyo, Warbrick switched to rugby league this season and has already been pushing for NRL selection.

He was in the mix for the Storm side to take on the Warriors on Monday night until he contracted COVID-19, which also prevented Clarke catching up with his good mate while in Melbourne for the inaugural Super Round.

“I’m really looking forward to Will making his debut,” said Clarke, who was a travelling reserve with the Tokyo Olympic team.

“He’s such an athlete – when you see him he’s taller than me, he’s stronger than me.

“A few of the boys were a bit surprised when he told us he’d signed with the Storm but I was just like, I can see it.

“With his aerial skills, he’s fast and strong, he really suits the game of league.”

Clarke has also been linked to the NRL, with his New Zealand rugby contract still to be finalised.

He said next year’s Rugby World Cup remained a goal but playing rugby league was part of his future plans.

“That’s definitely one thing that I’d love to do,” the 23-year-old said.

“I’m a big Rabbitohs supporter and I talk to the Rabbitohs boys every now and then.

“So yeah, I’d love to and I don’t know when but it’ll definitely be something that I want to tick off as a life goal.”

Clarke said it was a big risk for a player to turn his back on playing Sevens for his country or as a 15-a-side player, the huge money on offer in Japan or Europe, to try his hand at another sport.

“He wanted to have a shot at different things and he got to tick off an awesome achievement of playing in the Olympics and as an athlete there’s not much more you can do,” Clarke said.

“I’m just really proud of him.”

Clarke still has another week to serve on a three week suspension so will be in the stands as his ladder-leading Blues take on Fijian Drua on Saturday afternoon at AAMI Park.

He said that had their mid-season review and were determined to continue their winning form against Australian opponents.

“We’ve all talked about and how special it is to be in this sort of position and how much we’ve grown as a team over the last few years under Leon’s (MacDonald) coaching.

“It’s just been really awesome to just see it all come to fruition and we’re excited to get stuck into the Aussie teams.”

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