Melbourne Storm has reacted swiftly to the disappointment of Adam Blair’s departure at the end of the season, confirming that former Storm and Test back-rower Ryan Hoffman will return to his beloved club next season, on a new three-year deal.
Hoffman, 27, will complete his obligations with the Wigan Warriors in the English Super League, before returning to the club he joined as an 18-year-old in 2003 from St Gregory’s College Campbelltown.
The opportunity for Hoffman to return became a possibility when Blair’s move to Wests Tigers was confirmed. At the same time Melbourne Storm became aware Hoffman was interested in returning to Australia, despite enjoying a wonderful association with Wigan.
“I’m really excited the opportunity has presented itself for me to re-join Storm, having started my career there and sharing so many wonderful memories and friendships,” Hoffman said.
“This year with Wigan has been outstanding. The club and fans have been great, and they have made me and my wife Mel very welcome.
“When I left Storm, the hardest part of the decision was leaving the only professional rugby league club I had ever played for, but Blairy moving on has created an opportunity for me to return to where it started.
“I have a burning desire to be a 10-year Storm player, joining Matt Geyer, Cameron Smith and by next year Billy Slater in the 200 games club.
“Mel and I are looking forward to returning to our family and friends in Melbourne, however my immediate focus is with Wigan and finishing off what we have started in the Challenge Cup and Super League.”
Melbourne Storm Head Coach, Craig Bellamy, is equally delighted to hear the news that the crowd favourite and proud clubman will be back wearing the Storm jersey in 2012.
“We all know the positive attributes he brings to our club, his professionalism and dedication is unquestionable,” Bellamy said.