‘New lease of life’: Storm ‘couldn’t be happier’ with Munster’s growth as he prepares to exit rehab

The Melbourne Storm “couldn’t be happier” with the progress Cameron Munster has made rehabilitation as the star five-eighth prepares to exit the facility this weekend.

Storm chairman Matt Tripp told The Sydney Morning Herald that Munster has a “new lease of life” and there are “fantastic” signs with 27-year-old just days away from wrapping up his four weeks in a Queensland treatment facility.

Munster admitted himself to the facility after he was videoed with a white substance in his hand following the Storm’s exit from the finals.

He was fined $30,000 from the NRL and copped a one-match suspension, while his club hit him with a $100,000 suspended fine, removed him from the leadership group and imposed a 12-month alcohol ban.

Fellow Storm players Brandon Smith and Chris Lewis also featured in the leaked video and were sanctioned too.

All three players told the NRL’s Integrity Unit that they were too drunk to remember if they took drugs — or to be able to confirm what the white substance was.

Tripp spoke to Munster on Monday and was pleased to hear the Storm’s marquee player doing so well.

“He rang me yesterday, and he sounded terrific,” Tripp told the Herald.

“I couldn’t be happier with his progress. He’s really excited about getting stuck into the pre-season with the boys and getting back to Melbourne.

“He’s in a really good headspace — it’s actually the best I’ve heard him. He’ll have some family time, and he’s expecting a baby in December with his partner (Bianca).

“I just think he’s got a new lease of life. It’s helped him no end. We’ve still got a long way to go, don’t get me wrong, in terms of him ticking all the boxes to be right for round two next year. But the early signs are fantastic.

“If I was preparing him for a Melbourne Cup, you could say he’s doing really well in the early stages of his prep.

“They’re finely-tuned athletes, you want them right when the whips are cracking, and that will be March next year, when we want him ready.”

According to the Herald, the Storm have engaged a psychologist to help Munster continue on this much healthier path.

Tripp has always supported Munster but he revealed to the Herald last month that the board actually came close to ripping up his contract.

“I know what a good bloke he is. I also know if you take the blinkers off he can stray,” he said at the time.

“The board came close to terminating his contract, but the same board are fully united in wanting to help turn his life around and make him a long-term Melbourne Storm player.

“I know he will repay the faith. I’m confident of that. And so are the board.”

Munster attracted headlines — that wouldn’t have sat well with Storm officials — before the white powder scandal when he publicly declared he’d be interested in joining Wayne Bennett at the Dolphins.

Tripp shut that down pretty quickly as he pointed out that Munster is signed to Melbourne until the end of 2023 — the Dolphins’ inaugural season.

“He’s contracted to us, it’s not even a conversation, it hasn’t been one and it won’t be one,” he said.

Source: foxsports.com