Storm have England rugby guru in corner

England rugby coach Eddie Jones (L) has helped the Storm ahead of their clash with Parramatta.
England rugby coach Eddie Jones (L) has helped the Storm ahead of their clash with Parramatta.

Melbourne have a heavyweight ally in their corner for Saturday's NRL sudden-death final against Parramatta in England rugby coach Eddie Jones.

While Jones, who also coached Australia for five years, is in Japan as the Rugby World Cup kicks off, he's been keeping a close eye on the Storm at AAMI Park.

Melbourne assistant coach Jason Ryles has been spending time with the England side since 2016, although the connection initially came through fitness guru Dean Benton.

"I certainly do learn a lot when I go over and work with the England squad - Eddie's been around for a long time and he's very, very experienced," Ryles said on Friday.

"I still touch base with him now in regards to the situations we get ourselves in throughout the year.

"We've touched base with him again over the last couple of weeks just to get his outside view on what's happening so it's a really good resource for us.

"He's has a bit of stuff that's left-field but it gets you thinking."

The praise goes both way with Jones crediting Ryles, a Test prop before switching to coaching in 2014, with adding an extra edge to England's defence to help them to a 2017 win over the Wallabies.

The situation that the minor premiers are in are that they risk being the first Storm side since 2013 to go out of the finals in straight sets.

Ryles played in that line-up, who finished third in the regular season, but lost to the South Sydney and then Newcastle at home to crash out.

"We had a pretty good run leading into the finals but we ended up losing two games and that was my last game of footy," Ryles said.

"It was very disappointing; it's not something we're used to down here.

"That hasn't been touched on ... but it was a completely different set of circumstances as we came off Origin and were a bit busted up and coming off a premiership the year before there was quite a bit of fatigue in the group."

The Eels got a large dose of finals fever arriving at their Melbourne hotel which is opposite the MCG - with 95,000 turning out for the AFL preliminary final.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur conceded it was the biggest game of his coaching career and for many of the players.

"For 12 or 13 of our playing group it's probably their biggest game to date but you wouldn't know that the way they've trained this week; they've been really calm and composed," Arthur said.

The Eels mentor said his team needed to put aside their 58-0 finals win over Brisbane because the Storm would be far more formidable opponents.

"Melbourne are a very good football team and probably at their hardest on the back of a loss so I know they're going to be fired up but we come here with confidence on the back of last week but we also know we need to be at our best."

STATS THAT MATTER

* The Eels are coming off the biggest ever finals win; their 58-0 thrashing of the Broncos was the most points scored by a team in a finals game.

* Parramatta have the worst record of any current team against the Storm, winning just 13 of 35 games.

* The Eels are making the most metres in the NRL per game (1509).

Australian Associated Press