Fresh from scoring a hat-trick in the Storm’s demolition of the Panthers, Storm winger Justin O’Neill has signed a new 2-year deal with the club – a move that is sure to please all Storm fans.
O’Neill made his debut back in 2010, having come through the Storm’s junior ranks, and has excelled quickly, with the 21-year old making it to the QLD Emerging Origin Squad, as well as playing for the Junior Kangaroos in 2010.
Although there were other clubs after O’Neill – but it was the team’s culture and staff (both playing and coaching), that convinced him to remain with the club.
â€œMy decision to stay with Melbourne Storm was based on many factors, but the most important was the culture which the players and staff have created,â€ Oâ€™Neill said.
â€œIn this environment I think can play my best football here.â€
Storm coach Craig Bellamy was pleased that O’Neill has re-signed for a further 2 years.
â€œJustin is a bright young talent who is playing consistent first grade and we believe will only get better with more NRL experience,â€ Bellamy said.
The Storm also received an additional boost, with the club confirming the re-signing of young lock forward, Tohu Harris.
Harris, who was recruited by the club’s late Recruitment Manager Dean Bell, represented the Junior Kiwis in 2011, and is currently recovering from an injury he suffered earlier this season.
â€œIâ€™m very excited to be staying with Melbourne Storm for the next couple of years and now my focus will be on rehab and getting back on the field,â€œ said Harris.
â€œBeing part of the NRL full time squad has made a big difference, especially being around blokes like Ryan Hoffman in pre-season and now Sika Manu in the rehab squad, they have helped me get through the intensity of the training required to play NRL.
Bellamy was also pleased that the side had managed to hold onto exciting prospect, Harris.
â€œTohu is a good young player who we believe can play regular first grade,â€ Bellamy said.
â€œThere was a lot of interest out there, so we are very pleased he decided to stay with Melbourne Storm and we are looking forward to him turning into a consistent NRL player.â€