Jahrome Hughes.
Jahrome Hughes says he intends to stay at the Storm for the rest of his NRL career. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS
  • rugby league

Hughes wants to stay at Storm, refutes move to Titans

Joel Gould May 8, 2024

Jahrome Hughes wants to play the rest of his NRL career at Melbourne and has knocked on the head any move to Gold Coast.

The 29-year-old 2020 premiership-winning half has his sights set on winning more titles at the Storm.

In recent weeks Hughes, on contract until the end of 2026, has been linked to a possible early exit to the Titans, who will be searching for an elite half when Kieran Foran retires.

“They are all lies,” Hughes told AAP.

“If I have my way I will be staying in Melbourne for the rest of my career. That is what I am trying to do, but there is no hurry. I still have two more years after this on my contract.”

Hughes said his partner was from the Gold Coast and he went to Palm Beach Currumbin High but they would not look to move back there until his career was over.

“But we are looking to start a family and we both love it in Melbourne. I am keen to have kids down there,” Hughes said.

When the “Big Three” of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith left the club, there was talk that the Storm’s premiership window had closed.

The trio all played in the 2012 and 2017 grand final wins. Smith was also a member of the 2020 premiership side, which featured fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, Hughes and five-eighth Cameron Munster.

It is a desire to win more titles with hooker and skipper Harry Grant in a blue-chip spine that has Hughes enthused.

Melbourne Storm's Jahrome Hughes, Harry Grant and Cameron Munster.
 Melbourne spine members Jahrome Hughes, Harry Grant and Cameron Munster. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS 

“I feel like our spine can create something really special here if we all stay together,” Hughes said.

“Sometimes that doesn’t happen, but I know we are all keen to stay. Injuries have stopped us playing together as much as we would have liked.

“I know people wrote us off when the ‘Big Three’ retired and we haven’t done anything yet without them, but we feel like we are building something special.

“We haven’t won a comp without Smithy and we want to change that. I know we have a few good players in the spine, but it is not going to just come to us.

“We need to work hard, but I feel like the team as a whole is working hard to achieve that goal. There is a competitive spirit in this team and I feel like that is what you need to win comps.”

Storm captain Grant said he wasn’t surprised Hughes was a recruitment target.

“Jahrome is a class act on and off the field,” Grant said.

“He’s still got a bit of time with us at the Storm so I don’t think there’s much worry or thought into looking too far ahead.”

Melbourne are competition co-leaders with Cronulla, who they host on Saturday night.

Hughes (calf) and Papenhuyzen (ankle) are both unavailable, but the Storm have won six of seven games by eight points or less in a display of real grit.

“We love the way the team fights and can win the close games,” Hughes said.

“Credit goes especially to the forward pack. I know they get written off a little bit, but they have come a long way, especially from last year.

“I think this team can win a comp.”