Every National Rugby League side needs a Christian Welch. That hard-working, tough prop forward, prepared to do all the little things his side needs to win. Whether it’s kick pressure, inside pressure, the extra hit-up or the late offload, Christian Welch is always in the action.
He’s very much the archetypal Melbourne prop forward Craig Bellamy loves. While the Storm have, in recent years, looked to the impact-style forwards of Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Tui Kamikamica, Welch’s type of play has been a fixture at Melbourne for nearly two decades.
The likes of Jason Ryles, Michael Crocker, Ryan Hoffman, and recently Jesse Bromwich and Welch himself have all played that reliable role.
The Storm prop is now one of the premier forwards in the game, sorely missed when he’s unavailable and he’s done it all after overcoming two anterior cruciate ligament tears, suffered barely two years apart and impacting both knees.
The Rehab Room
“The second time (tear), you’re really facing a fair bit of reality. The first time I did it, I think I was 22, missed out on a grand final which turned out to be a premiership, but at the end of the day I was only a young fella with a long career (ahead of me). Then I think I did it when I was 26, my right and you kind of think that’s two ACLs now, if I do another one I could be in a bit of trouble here with my career. I think the second time was pretty tough because you’re really aware of the journey as well,” says Welch.