Kiwi playmaker Jahrome Hughes has rejected a lucrative Warriors deal to ink a new contract which will keep him in Melbourne until at least the end of 2024.
The Storm have fended off yet another raid on their premiership stocks, with their latest offer to keep Hughes enough to see him knock back the approach from across the ditch.
Hughes is understood to have told suitors, including the Warriors, on Wednesday evening that he would be staying in the Victorian capital in a significant boost on the eve of Melbourne’s premiership defence.
His three-year contract extension was announced at the Storm's season launch on Wednesday.
The Warriors had targeted Hughes as a marquee replacement for rugby-bound captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, tabling a lucrative three-year deal worth more than $2 million over three years for the 27-year-old.
"Having Jahrome re-sign with us today is a real boost for Storm as we head into the new season," said Storm football manager Frank Ponissi.
"His switch from fullback to halfback has proved to be an outstanding success and we expect there is still plenty of improvement ahead of him."
Having transitioned from fullback to the halves and guided Melbourne to a remarkable 2020 premiership, Hughes was being lined up for the Warriors No.7 jumper beyond this season.
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The prospect of playing fullback was also discussed with the three-Test New Zealand star but Hughes now sees himself as a halfback.
Hughes’ latest round of contract talks represented a deserved windfall given his rise after stints with the Gold Coast and North Queensland.
The Warriors will continue to be a significant player in the transfer market beyond 2021 given Tuivasa-Sheck’s exit leaves them with around $1 million in salary cap space to spend.