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Storm utility Nick Meaney is hoping to emulate the path of former fullback-turned-Dally M medallist Nicho Hynes and use his opportunity in a coveted jersey to cement his place in the side.

Running for 208 metres, breaking two tackles and scoring his side’s season opener, the 25-year-old went above and beyond as No. 1 understudy in his side's thrilling 16-12 win against the Eels in Round 1.

With Ryan Papenhuyzen set to miss at least the next six weeks, Meaney hopes his time in the No. 1 jersey puts coach Craig Bellamy in a tough position in regard to how the versatile back fits into the team when the star fullback returns. 

“Last year was a bit of a roller coaster ride for me with positions but that comes with the job. I knew that coming down here and that’s what Nicho Hynes did for the Storm in previous years, so I was accepting of that and ready to do the job for the team," Meaney told the media at pre-season training.

Meaney weaves through

“Whenever he’s (Papanhhuyzen) back we’ll see what direction Craig wants to go with but I’ve just got to focus on myself, get better each week and try and force that to be a tough decision with whether he wants to put Paps back in straight away or leave me in there for a while.

“Craig’s been very supportive of me with my full-time role at fullback. He’s been encouraging me to put my best foot forward, build as a player and take more ownership of my own game and the people around me.

“It’s incredible to be under a guy like him and I’m cherishing the time I’ve got at the moment."

Since Meaney joined the storm last year to replace Hynes as a utility, Bellamy has relied heavily on the former Bulldog's versatility to help combat a string of injuries over the past 12 months.

After covering Xavier Coates on the wing, Cameron Munster at five-eighth and most recently Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback, the Ballina Seagulls product said the No. 1 position is where his focus lied during pre-season.

“I played a bit of wing and five-eighth last year… but I’ve spent more of my time at fullback so I probably feel most comfortable there," he said.

“I’ve been working closely with Billy Slater and that’s a huge win for a fullback working with someone like him so I feel really confident with where I’m at.

“He was all over the park as a fullback so we’ve been working on being active and used the pre-season to build that fitness.

“I’ve got to take that now to help the team…popping up everywhere on the field and on the defensive side as well, trying to save tries and jump on loose balls.”

Meanwhile, with Cameron Munster joining Papenhuyzen in the casualty ward after sustaining a compound fracture in Round 1, and winger Xavier Coates “a chance” (shoulder), skipper Christian Welch is trusting the squad’s depth to back up their Round 1 performance.

Welch: "It was a special moment"

“Coatesy is still a chance, but Munster will definitely be out for a bit,” Welch told the media.

“If you look at it in a positive way, Munster is going to play Origin this year so it’s a good audition for that guy who's got to step up in the middle of the year, as he will get a game under his belt this weekend.

“We’ve had a few injuries last week, but you’ve just got to get on with it and trust the depth of the squad and the guys that have put the work in over the off-season, we’re really confident in them stepping up.”

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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