Storm trio join chorus for Coast-based NRL team
A trio of Melbourne Storm international superstars have endorsed the Sunshine Coast as a region capable of having its own NRL team.
Kangaroos representatives Cameron Munster and Josh Addo-Carr, and New Zealand's Jahrome Hughes had nothing but high praise for Sunshine Coast Stadium, the surrounding facilities and the supporter base.
A second Brisbane team, Redcliffe, Ipswich and the Central Coast of NSW are all vying to be the 17th NRL team.
While the Sunshine Coast has plenty of ground to make up in the race for NRL expansion, these three are the latest in a long line of high-profile endorsements.
Storm's Queensland five-eighth Cameron Munster said the "old school" atmosphere created on the hill on the eastern side was similar to Sydney's Leichhardt or Brookvale ovals.
"There's a lot of speculation around Brisbane getting another team but I can't see why one can't be located on the Coast," Munster said just days from his fourth NRL grand final.
"It's a great field here.
"I've played here a fair few times with the (Central Queensland) Capras and Easts (Tigers) and always enjoyed it.
"The hills kind of make it an old school Leichhardt or Brookie. Then you have the nice stands of the stadium too."
In the six games the Storm played at the Bokarina-based venue in their 2020 stay, winger Josh Addo Carr crossed for nine tries.
The off-contract star said there was something "special" about the place.
"It's been packed every time, it's been an absolute pleasure," Addo-Carr said.
"I could definitely see it (a Coast-based team). That's probably why the NRL let us play here.
"To give the fans what they want. It would be good for the game.
"The crowd is always loud, passionate, not just Storm fans, the opposition too.
"It's been pretty special to be honest."
Munster's halves partner Jahrome Hughes is no stranger to the area, having spent time at the Sunshine Coast Falcons.
"I used to love coming here, it's not a bad spot," Hughes said.
"I would love playing here, the crowd is always good.
"I could see a team being here. It has everything you need."
The trio's glowing praise comes after master coach Craig Bellamy said in August that the region "ticks all the boxes" to have team based permanently.