Storm re-sign Asofa-Solomona, Hughes, Drinkwater, Olam, Milne
Melbourne Storm will go into the off-season buoyed by the re-signing of five players; Nelson Asofa-Solomona (until end of 2023), Jahrome Hughes (2021) as well as Scott Drinkwater, Justin Olam and Kayleb Milne (2020).
Despite still having another season still to run on his current deal, Asofa-Solomona has put pen to paper on a four-year extension that will ensure he remains in the purple jersey for at least the next five seasons.
The 22-year-old Kiwi international has enjoyed a rapid rise over the last 18 months to now stand amongst the premiere front rowers in the competition.
Asofa-Solomona enjoyed his best season to date in 2018, averaging career best running metres, tackle breaks and tackles made. With just 77 NRL games to date, Storm fans are set to see the 200cm, 120kg prop reach new heights over the next five years.
The Club has also announced the re-signing of Hughes on an additional two-year contract extension.
The 23-year-old playmaking utility made a name for himself this season when he stepped in for the injured Billy Slater during the Origin period, performing brilliantly at both fullback and in the halves as he put together 11 games during the second half of the season, with only injury forcing him out of the side.
After breaking through to make their NRL debuts in 2018, Drinkwater and Olam have also signed on for the next two seasons. The pair impressed throughout the year at feeder level for the Easts Tigers and Sunshine Coast Falcons.
Drinkwater, 21, was awarded the Cooper Cronk Medal on Wednesday night as the Club's feeder Player of the Year. Storm fans will recall the young fullback's scintillating debut game in Round 25 in which he scored a try, ran for 173 metres and made a team high eight tackle breaks against the Panthers.
Milne is the third player to sign off for another two seasons after enjoying a stellar year for the Victorian Thunderbolts in the QRL Hastings Deering Colts competition, culminating is his recent selection in the Junior Kiwis squad.
Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said the Club was delighted to have all five players commit their futures in Melbourne.
"It is a terrific sign for the future of our football club that all five players see their playing futures here with us at the Melbourne Storm.
"We are proud of how far Nelson has come as a player and as a person over the last 18 months, what he can achieve over the next five years in the purple jersey is incredibly exciting and we have no doubt he will continue to work hard to ensure he makes the most of his exciting potential.
"Jahrome took his NRL opportunity with both hands in 2018 which should give him a great deal of confidence heading into next year and we are excited to see him push for a regular spot in the 17.
"The same goes for Scott and Justin who, while being limited with their NRL chance this year, showed terrific signs at feeder level which makes us excited with what they can both achieve at this Club over the next two years. Kayleb is also a player we see as part of the future of Melbourne Storm who is working hard to take the next step in his development."