MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Ryan Hoffman of the Warriors runs during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors at AAMI Park on April 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Melbourne Storm has today announced that favourite son Ryan Hoffman will return to the Club for the 2018 season.

Hoffman has signed a one-year deal that will see him finish his playing career in the purple jersey.

The 33-year-old will have the opportunity to become just the fifth player in history to play 250 games for Storm, having made 245 appearances for the Club between 2003-2010 and 2012-2014.

In addition to Hoffman, Storm have also signed promising young prop Patrick Kaufusi from the Cowboys until at least the end of the 2019 season.

The 23-year-old Tongan international is the third Kaufusi to join the Club, following in the footsteps of his older brothers Felise and Antonio.

A highly regarded youngster, Kaufusi is a versatile forward who will play both up the middle and on the edge for Melbourne.

The return Hoffman is yet another dose of great news for Storm fans following last week’s Grand Final victory and Billy Slater’s decision to play on next year.

Hoffman was part of three Grand Final wins for Melbourne and was made a life member of the Club in 2013.

The veteran’s addition to the playing squad will further assist the likes of Joe Stimson in taking the next step in their development.

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Stimson was one of many exciting Storm youngsters to make their mark this year. After making his debut in Round 2, the 21-year-old showed enormous potential in the 15 games he played for Craig Bellamy’s side.

It was a debut season that leaves Stimson well placed for a big 2018 campaign.

Melbourne Storm are very excited about the continued development of Joe Stimson, who we expect will make a strong claim for Tohu Harris’ spot in the second row,” Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said.

Ryan Hoffman is going to add some much needed experience and leadership to the squad.

“Having lost three forwards from our Grand Final team in Jordan McLean, Tohu Harris and Slade Griffin, we believe Hoffman and Kaufusi are valuable inclusions that will help offset the departure of that trio.

“Along with a host of current Storm players, both Patrick and Ryan will be pressing hard for a position in our starting 17.”

Both players will start in November when the first group of players return to the Club to commence pre-season training.

Melbourne Storm 2018 Player Movements

2018 Gains
Sandor Earl (2018), Tom Eisenhuth (2020), Ryan Hoffman (New Zealand Warriors, 2018), Cooper Johns (2018), Sam Kasiano (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, 2020), Patrick Kaufusi (North Queensland Cowboys, 2019), Kayleb Milne (2018), Ryan Papenhuyzen (Wests Tigers, 2020), Junior Ratuvu (2018), Marion Seve (Brisbane Broncos, 2020), Albert Vete (New Zealand Warriors, 2020), Billy Walters (2018)
2018 Losses
Jesse Arthars (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Dean Britt (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Cooper Cronk (Sydney Roosters), Charlie Galo (released), Slade Griffin (Newcastle Knights), Tohu Harris (New Zealand Warriors), Jeremy Hawkins (released), Vincent Leuluai (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Jordan McLean (North Queensland Cowboys), Nate Myles (retired), Mark Nicholls (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Robbie Rochow (Wests Tigers), Jake Turpin (Brisbane Broncos)
Josh Addo-Carr (2021), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (2019), Cheyse Blair (2020), Jesse Bromwich (2022), Kenneath Bromwich (2020), Will Chambers (2020), Brodie Croft (2020), Dale Finucane (2021), Jahrome Hughes (2020), Ryley Jacks (2018), Felise Kaufusi (2022), Billy Slater (2018), Brandon Smith (2022), Joe Stimson (2019), Suliasi Vunivalu (2020), Christian Welch (2019)
Off Contract 2018
Sandor Earl, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Sale Finau, Louis Geraghty, Harry Grant, Ryley Jacks, Cooper Johns, Tui Kamikamica, Kayleb Milne, Justin Olam, Junior Ratuvu, Cameron Smith, Shem Tatupu, Lachlan Timm, Billy Walters
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  1. Good signings for the Storm next year. Storm 2018 side:
    1) Slater
    2) Vunivalu
    3) Chambers
    4) Scott
    5) Addo-Carr
    6) Munster
    7) Croft
    8) Bromwich
    9) Smith
    10) Kasiano
    11) Kaufusi
    12) Hoffman
    13) Finucane

    14) Bromwich (second row)
    15) Asofa-Solomona (prop)
    16) Glasby/Kaufusi (prop)
    17) Stimson (second row)

    • Do like the team but think Kasiano will be used off the bench. Been an awesome impact player for the Bulldogs. Tim Glasby should start after his impressive 2017.

  2. Good to see Hoffman sign on with the club it started at. Warriors really held back and him going home will be the best thing for him. On ya Hoffy. #Thankyoustorm

    Also my team line up for next year
    4.C Blair/Scott
    5. Addo-Carr
    6. Munster
    8. J Bromwich
    9. Smith
    11. F Kaufusi
    12. Hoffman
    13. Finucane

    14. K Bromwich
    15. Glasby
    16. Asofa-Solomona

    18. Jacks
    19. Stimson
    21. P Kaufusi
    22. Kamickia
    23. B Smith
    24. Myles

    • Kasinao and Hoffman on unders = Bargain!
      Myles on unders $$’s = over priced!
      Kasinao is about to be the fittest he has ever been in 2018. Bellamy is not fond of chubby love!

      • Hey! Woah! Don’t go making such bold predictions that will come back to bite you on the ar$e mate. No undefeated teams, that is just crazy talk 😉

        • What can I say, I like to live life on the edge! Double or nothing?

          – Knights won’t win the premiership.
          – Storm won’t win the wooden spoon.
          – Souths won’t finish the season injury free.
          – Manly won’t be Manly (regardless of the results on the field).
          – Mary McGregor won’t grow hair.
          – Pappa Smurf won’t crack a smile (unless it is in condescension).
          – Sticky will find someone else to blame when his team loses.
          – More Kiwis will rediscover their “long lost heritage” when NZ bow out early in the World Cup.

          Should I go on? 😉

      • Got,to SSTID there. Not only SOO but every team has off weeks, injuries, and there’s a few “elderly statesmen” in there, not to mention the increased strength of some of the other sides.

        Top 4, yep, very likely, but not undefeated. No chance.

  3. Storm, Roosters, Cowboys I think are the certainties for top 4 in my opinion unless injury strikes. Great retention and recruitment by both sides to keep up the top. Cant wait to see how Bellamy keeps the Storm up, he will despite the absence of Cronk. Croft is a perfect identical replacement for him and Kasiano will have a golden year, cant wait to see how Bellamy turns him around.

    • I know the new season is a long way off but at this stage I do not see the top 8 changing much in 2018.

        • With only another 20 weeks or so until the start of the season we are picking the top 4?

          Hmmmm, this off season is just going to fly by isn’t it. But here goes anyway. Storm and Roosters, top 4, Cowboys are a no in my book (for a top 4).

  4. Grrrr – i wish Saints had put some effort into getting the Hoff over JG, might be proven wrong but lets see…..

    • I’d love to see the Hoff at Saints too, Pedro, but out of the two, I’d prefer to have Graham. We already have running backrowers like Frizell and Thompson but a creative ball-player like Graham would add more than a ball-runner like the Hoff. I was hoping that Leilua would fit the ball-playing role but like his big brother he might not be an early developer. As you say, let’s see…..

      • Agreed. Assuming the Doggies are co funding Graham, and assuming this years run of injuries isn’t the beginning of a very rapid end to his career, Graham was a great pick up. He’s a reliable work horse that’s as tough as old boots, and can do big minutes for a prop.

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