Storm production line rolls on for WCC
In a World Club Challenge campaign that started with a bus driver who failed to show up to Heathrow, continued with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency blood testing at least two players and has been overshadowed by debate over scheduling back home, the Storm's selection of 21-year-old Tohu Harris is the feel-good story of the clash with Leeds.
Just days before his death, Bell was quoted as saying of the former rugby union star: "I think he'll be the first from this program to play NRL for us, we've got high expectations of Tohu".
The recruitment trip to Wellington which snared the "quiet, determined" forward was also aimed at signing Super Rugby's TJ Perenara.
Bell, whose death hit the club hard, was responsible for recruiting winger Matt Duffie and prop Jesse Bromwich - who've both since become internationals.
"He's big and he's quiet but he's a wonderful kid," said football manager Frank Ponissi of the 185 cm, 112 kg Harris.
"He's the youngest of a big family and they'll be very proud - and so will we.
"He has been probably our most consistent player in the two warm-up trials we've had. Off the field, you just wouldn't know he's there sometimes.
"He just goes about his business and goes home."
Having beaten Lagi Setu and Junior Moors to a starting berth, and with Kevin Proctor (knee) out for up to a month, Harris has the chance to secure a starting berth against St George Illawarra on March 10.
The 13th - and perhaps final - consecutive WCC game to be played in the UK is a 20,400 sellout.
"We've played each other in three of these now," said Storm halfback Cooper Cronk.
"It's an Origin series. We've won one, they've won one and whoever wins this, wins the series I suppose."
Leeds are likely to switch centre Kallum Watkins to fullback after the loss of Zak Hardaker with a broken thumb.
Joe Vickery, a triallist from the Gold Coast, makes an unlikely appearance after ankle ligament damage suffered on February 1 initially ruled him out for six weeks.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott said Melbourne would present a tougher challenge than Manly, who the Rhinos beat 26-12 a year ago.
"How often they are going to throw things at you is a lot more than Manly," McDermott said.
"Manly played a bit more off the cuff, Melbourne will be a bit more structured and they're going to test us for longer periods.
"In a roundabout way, I'm saying the test is bigger than it was last year against Manly."