Western Suburbs prop Mitchell Garbutt is poised to sign with the Melbourne Storm after impressing the NRL heayweights with his performance in last month’s Newcastle Rugby League grand final.
The 22-year-old has been offered a one-year deal, with a second-season option.
Garbutt, who is expected to officially sign next week, would begin pre-season training in the Victorian capital next month.
The 120-kilogram, 192-centimetre big bopper was arguably the best front-rower in the local league this season and is renowned for his mobility and ball-playing skills.
Storm coach Craig Bellamy is among the NRL’s leading coaches and has developed a reputation for turning rough diamonds into quality first-graders.
One of Bellamy’s recent success stories is 22-year-old Jesse Bromwich, who earned a nomination for Dally M prop of the year in his first full season in the top grade.
Garbutt said the opportunity to play under Bellamy was a massive lure.