Jahrome Hughes reveals why he didn’t want to take a chance on ‘going home’ to join the Dolphins after extending his stay with the Storm until 2026
Jahrome Hughes has opted to remain in Melbourne as he felt joining the Dolphins next season was ‘a big risk’, but acknowledged signing for the NRL newcomers was ‘definitely an option’.
Redcliffe have been desperate to land a superstar player ahead of their inaugural season in the competition next year.
While the Melbourne Storm halfback was not available for next season, the Dolphins were reportedly ready to keep salary cap space available to lure him to Queensland for 2024.
Melbourne Storm star Jahrome Hughes signed a new four-year deal with the club this week
Redcliffe had reportedly tabled a five-year deal in the region of $4million, but the New Zealand international instead opted to stay put in Victoria and penned a four-year extension with the Storm this week as he deemed joining a new club too much of a ‘big risk’ for his career.
‘The Dolphins have done well to get a few signings from here at Melbourne […] and obviously Wayne Bennett is one of the best coaches ever,’ he told the Courier Mail.
‘They have the foundations to have a successful team and club, but there is still a risk there and there is no reason for myself to be taking those risks when I’m happy at the Storm.’
Hughes, however, admitted there was concrete interest from the Dolphins and he gave serious consideration to the opportunity of returning to Queensland.
The classy halfback was on the Dolphins’ radar but felt joining the NRL newcomers in 2024 would be too much of a risk for his career
‘The Dolphins were definitely an option,’ he explained.
‘I was brought up in Queensland and a lot of my friends and family still live there.
‘There was an opportunity to go home in some ways, but just the way the Storm operate and what they have done for me, I felt I wanted to repay their faith.
‘They gave me the first real opportunity to make it in the game and they turned me into the player and person that I have become.’
Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett is eager to land a superstar named for his club
With Newcastle fullback Kalyn Ponga now thought to be Dolphins’ No1 target
While Hughes hopes ‘to finish the career at the club’, the Dolphins have successfully poached Kenny and Jesse Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi away from Melbourne
Redcliffe’s quest for a marquee player, however, goes on. On Saturday, it emerged Newcastle captain Kalyn Ponga was considering moving north of the border to join the Dolphins.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, the star fullback met with Bennett in an undisclosed location in Sydney after the Knights lost 18-0 to Cronulla.
Ponga has until Round 12 to decide whether to trigger an extension that will keep him at the Knights next season and Newcastle have reportedly offered their captain in the region of $1.2million to convince him to remain with the club.