The Melbourne Storm announced five re-signings on Tuesday morning, with Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Kenny Bromwich, Felise Kaufusi, Cheyse Blair and Mark Nicholls all committing their future.
Bromwich and Blair have signed on for two more years and their contract is set to run out following the 2018 season, while Asofa-Solomona, Kaufusi and Nicholls have all signed one-year extensions.
These five signings are another massive step forward for Melbourne in the future, although two players in particular stand out as key additions.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona is easily the biggest signing of the five-player group, as NAS was in high demand across the NRL.
NAS was also a chance to make the switch to rugby union before signing this contract, although playing for the All Blacks still remains a dream of his.
Despite the contract lasting only the one year, the Storm will be glad to keep the man mountain in Melbourne. When he was fit this season he was nothing short of devastating, and the 20-year-old has the makings to become one of the best forwards in the league in years to come.
His speed, strength and agility are unmatched across the league for someone of his size, and Asofa-Solomona will be a huge player for the Storm off the bench once again next season.
Kenny Bromwich has had a breakout year this season and has earnt every dollar of his new contract.
The 24-year-old has appeared in every game for Craig Bellamy this season and has been a workhorse across the field, playing important minutes each week whether it’s off the bench or in the starting lineup.
Felise Kaufusi has also enjoyed a fantastic season, culminating in a call-up to the Maroons squad as the 18th man for Game 3 of the State of Origin.
The 24-year-old has only played 37 NRL games in his career, but like Bromwich, Kaufusi has made himself an important player under Bellamy and is another integral part of the Storm’s bench.
Cheyse Blair made his Storm debut in Round 9 this season and has made 13 appearances throughout the year, and was a crucial player for Melbourne around the time he debuted due to the Storm’s injury list at the time.
Mark Nicholls is yet to make his Storm debut, although impressive performances for the Sunshine Coast Falcons in the Queensland Cup have him on the cusp of selection.
All five players have deserved their new contracts, and this is just another step in the Storm’s bid to keep their future bright.