Melbourne Storm name Dale Finucane and Jesse Bromwich as captains. Picture: Melbourne Storm.

Two of Melbourne's most respected leaders step into captaincy roles in 2021 following Cameron Smith's departure.

Melbourne Storm today announced Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane as the club’s co-captains for the upcoming NRL season.

The changing of the guard all but confirms the end of former captain Cameron Smith’s time at the Storm, with the star still weighing up his playing career from his new home in Queensland.

Bromwich and Finucane had been earmarked early on as future captains by coach Craig Bellamy. The master coach officially announced the promotions at AAMI Park.

“Jesse and Dale were identified some time ago as possible future captains of our club,” Bellamy said. “They have progressed and developed their leadership skills… and have had a great captain to learn from in Cameron Smith.”

“With it now being very unlikely that Cameron will be part of Storm this year, now is the right to promote Dale and Jesse to the joint captaincy role to take our club into the future.”

Bromwich acknowledged Smith’s departure left a void that he’s been tasked with filling.

“They are big shoes to fill,” Bromwich said. “Cameron will go down as the best captain of all time, he’s someone I looked up to for such a long time.”

“To be named alongside Dale as co-captain is a huge honour.”

Bromwich anticipates little change going into the new season, despite having a new captain for the first time since 2008.

“I’ll be the same guy, try to lead the boys the same way I’ve done in the past,” he said. “It’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”

“Off the field I’ll be the same guy.”

The captaincy announcement will be followed closely by contract extension talks for Finucane, whose current deal expires at the end of 2021.

After joining from Canterbury at the start of the 2015 season, Finucane has played 135 games for Melbourne, including two premierships in 2017 and 2020.

Joining the two captains in the leadership group will be Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, Christian Welch, and Kenny Bromwich.

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