Queensland State of Origin front-rower Christian Welch has finalised a long-term agreement with Melbourne Storm, extending his current contract by another three years.
The 27-year-old today signed with Storm through until the end of the 2025 NRL season, giving him the opportunity to build significantly on his current tally of 117 matches.
A junior with Easts Tigers and Gladstone Brothers in Queensland, Welch first came to Melbourne in 2013 to play for Storm’s NYC under-20s team.
He made his debut in round nine of the 2015 season, has played in three grand finals including being in the premiership-winning team in 2020 and was part of the victorious World Club Challenge squad in 2018.
Queensland selectors handed Welch his State of Origin debut in 2019 and he has gone on to play another five matches for the Maroons, including two in the series win against NSW last year.
He was elevated to Storm’s leadership group for the recently completed season.
Storm General Manager – Football Frank Ponissi said Welch had developed into one of the premier props in the NRL.
“We’re very happy that Christian has committed to this new contract with us that will take his time with Storm well past the 10-year mark,” Ponissi said.
“He was off contract at the end of 2022 and was a priority re-signing for us.
“Although his career has had some setbacks, he has persevered and continued to grow and mature as a player on the field and as a leader of our club both on and off the field.
“There’s no doubt he will play a very important role in Storm’s future.”
Welch said he was really excited about extending his time in Melbourne.
“Special thanks to my family in Brisbane. They understand how special a club it is and have continued to support me staying down here.
“I can’t wait to get out there on AAMI Park in front of our fans who have had it so tough for the last few years.”
Welch will start 2022 pre-season training with Storm on December 7.