Manly fullback Brett Stewart says he will be fit to make his Test debut for Australia after being selected in the Kangaroos side to play New Zealand in Wellington on October. Stewart was heavily concussed in last night's Grand Final loss to Melbourne, but will have no long term injuries from the sickening Michael Crocker hit.
Stewart says he is honoured to win Test selection but the personal achievement doesn't ease the pain of losing a grand final. Manly prop Brent Kite was also selected for the Kangaroos while centre Jamie Lyon, halfback Matt Orford and second rower Anthony Watmough all missed out.
The Storm, who beat Manly 34-8 in Sydney last night to win their first grand final since 1999, touched down in Melbourne this afternoon with 100 fans at the airport cheering them off the plane.
An estimated one thousand fans gathered at the club's Princes Park headquarters to welcome them and the premiership cup home. Those fans have been waiting since lunchtime when the Storm were initially expected to arrive.
Melbourne capped off a massive 24 hours today with five of their players named in the Australian team to play a one-off Test against New Zealand later this month. Storm skipper Cameron Smith was also named Australian captain.
Prop Ben Cross has been charged with grade three contrary conduct for unnecessary contact with the face of Manly's Brett Stewart. Cross was charged by the NRL match review committee and faces a two-week to three-week ban for the incident with Stewart in just the sixth minute of last night's 34-8 win at Telstra Stadium.
Television replays showed Cross had his hands around the eyes of Stewart, however the Manly player has no recollection of the incident after being knocked unconscious by Storm second rower Michael Crocker later in the game.
Manly's Jamie Lyon was charged with a grade one dangerous throw on Billy Slater in the first minute but can escape a ban with an early guilty plea. Sea Eagles' prop Jason King was hit with a grade two contrary conduct for lifting his knees in the seventh minute and faces a one-week or two-week suspension.