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Smith turns from tutor to skipper as Storm head to Albury

While in Albury the players will be confined to their accommodation except when training or eating as the league looks to prevent any chance of infection.

It’s likely the players are allowed home to see family on the weekend.

“Now we turn [our] focus to training and everyone feels good about getting the game back underway and being in the best condition we can be,” Smith told Storm media on Monday.

“My best subject [as a home tutor] was definitely maths although I’m doing year seven maths at the moment so it hasn’t been overly challenging. There are a few new questions and different sums compared to what I looked at in school. At times it has been enjoyable to sit down with my kids and do some school work.”

Players and officials went through an NRL-mandated biosecurity education session on Monday and experienced some of the new practices used to keep out the COVID-19 virus as the league moves towards returning to the field on May 28.

The Storm players will have to observe the NRL’s guidelines at all times until the season finishes.

With Victoria unlikely to allow any games, even behind closed doors, in the near future, the Storm expect to continue to compete away from home, after playing away in the opening two games before the NRL season was suspended.

Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy hopes the team can have some fans back at AAMI Park late in the campaign.

“That would be my understanding, if we were playing more away games at the start there would be the opportunity to back-end some home games,” he said.

“I am the eternal optimist and I think if we keep doing the right things as a community … I’m genuinely hopeful that in some way, shape or form we will start seeing crowds back at AAMI Park as long as the trends keep going the way they are.”

Smith knows there could still be delays to the NRL’s goal to return on May 28 but the players will do their bit to be ready.

“The general public can’t wait for sport to be back on TV, especially footy, whether it’s rugby league or AFL,” Smith said.

“The players are committed to getting back out there as soon as we can to get our game back on TV.”

When play does resume, Smith (45 tries) has his eyes on passing coach Craig Bellamy’s try-scoring tally of 46 tries.

“That’s been my focus through the last six weeks,” Smith said jokingly.

“Practising my darting from dummy half so I can hopefully get a close-range try. It’s one to equal him and two to surpass him, that will be a main goal of mine when we return.”

With AAP

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