The Melbourne Storm have taken a big step to securing its playing future with rising stars Brodie Croft, Brandon Smith and Jahrome Hughes as well as Cheyse Blair all re-signing with the Club.
Croft has put pen to paper on a three-year deal, Hughes an additional two while Smith has made a long-term commitment to remain in Melbourne until at least the end of the 2022 season.
The young trio gave Storm fans an exciting glimpse of the future with their eye-catching performances during this year’s Origin period.
Croft, 19, captained both the Junior Kangaroos and Queensland Under-20s earlier this year and kicked the game-winning field goal against the Cowboys in Round 15.
Smith, 21, scored two tries in his three games at hooker, bringing a tenacious, dynamic style of play that saw him quickly endear himself to Storm fans. The 22-year-old Hughes was one of Melbourne’s best against the Eels in Round 18, playing at fullback and not looking out of place in just his second game for the Club.
In a further boost for Melbourne, Blair has re-signed to remain in the purple jersey until at least the end of 2020.
Since arriving at Storm at the start of the 2016 season the 25-year-old has worked his way into Craig Bellamy’s side, earning a starting spot in the centres. He has played 30 games in the purple jersey to date, including last year’s Grand Final.
Blair’s 2017 season has been cut short due to an ankle injury, however, he will return in time for the start of pre-season training.
These latest signings join the long list of Storm players who have recently re-signed; Will Chambers, Jesse and Kenny Bromwich, Dale Finucane, Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Joe Stimson, Ryley Jacks and Christian Welch.
Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said the newly signed quartet will form a big part of the Club’s future:
“These re-signings are a significant part of our retention strategy. All four players will form an integral part of our playing group for the years to come.
“Brodie, Brandon and Jahrome are exciting young players who showed our fans during the Origin period just what they are capable of.
“They are young men who came to Melbourne in search of an NRL opportunity and now they comfortably call this city their home. They will continue to work closely with our coaches to ensure they reach their full potential in the purple over the years to come.
“Cheyse has worked incredibly hard to cement himself in the starting side and we have every confidence he will continue to apply that same work ethic to his rehab and ensure he returns to the field fit and ready for next season.”
Melbourne Storm 2020 Player Movements
Solomone Kata (New Zealand Warriors, 2020), Max King (Gold Coast Titans, 2020), Isaac Lumelume (Cronulla Sharks, 2020)
Cheyse Blair (Castleford Tigers), Scott Drinkwater (North Queensland Cowboys), Patrick Kaufusi (released), Kayleb Milne (Cronulla Sharks), Joe Stimson (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Cameron Munster (2023)
|Off Contract 2019|
Albert Vete, Billy Walters