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Melbourne have made sure to retain at least three-quarters of their star backbone for years to come, with Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant joining Ryan Papenhuyzen on long-term contracts.
Labeled by the storm as one of the biggest announcements in the club’s history, Hughes will stay with Melbourne until 2026 while Grant is tied down until 2025.
That comes with full-back Ryan Papenhuyzen’s future already secured until the end of 2025, leaving five-eighth Cameron Munster the only unsecured member of the star quartet.
The announcement was made during the 2012 premiership-winning side’s 10-year celebrations on Friday, with confirmation that Maroons winger Xavier Coates’ deal has also been extended until 2026.
“We now have a quality backbone, our skipper (Christian Welch), an exciting winger and some great young talent all locked in for a few years,” chairman Matt Tripp said.
“We know all three are quality players and, more importantly, quality people.
“We’re proud of the strong culture we’ve built across the club and we’ll always work hard to retain the right people.”
Munster are expected to attract interest from players like the Dolphins, with his deal only in place until the end of 2023.
His agent, Braith Anasta, recently revealed doubt over Craig Bellamy’s future played a role in Munster’s uncertainty over re-signing while saying his client would have to take a pay cut to stay in the Victorian capital.
The Storm have already lost Kiwi rep pair Kenny and Jesse Bromwich to the new NRL franchise for next year.