Slade Griffin has been unlucky with injury in the past but throughout his ordeals, his belief and resilience to return to the NRL and to the Melbourne Storm side has never wavered.
After three knee injuries in four years, Griffin’s tenacity and fight paid off when he played NRL in Rd 15 of the 2016 season.
His resiliency to bounce back impressed the club and as such, they have rewarded him with a contract for 2017.
1065 days was the length of time between appearances for the resilient utility, as the club praised his character and not giving up.
“Slade has been through a lot in his four years at the Club and that comeback game showed how strong of a character he is,” Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said.
“He is a valued member of the playing group and the boys love having him around the Club because of how hard he works every day.
“We look forward to seeing Slade back to his best on the field in 2017.”
Knowing how important the future is, the Storm have also added three talented youngsters to their ranks from 2017.
Both Jahrome Hughes and Brandon Smith join from the North Queensland Cowboys, whilst fellow new signing Ryley Jacks joins from the Sunshine Coast Falcons, a team in the Intrust Super Cup.
Smith, a 20-year old Kiwi, signs a three-year deal with the Storm after an impressive campaign for the Cowboys in their Holden Cup side. Playing in the preliminary final this year, Smith was named as hooker of the year in the competition for 2016.
Hughes, 21, joins to strengthen their back-line stocks. With 2 NRL games to his name – one for the Cowboys and another for the Gold Coast Titans – he played the majority of his football with Intrust Super Cup side, the Townsville Blackhawks. He has signed on for two seasons.
Finally, and perhaps the signing that can have the most immediate impact in 2017 is Ryley Jacks. Coming off a career best season whilst playing the Falcons, Jacks has signed on for one season and is a highly rated player.
The club are pleased to have the young trio on board and know what they are capable of.
“We are delighted to have Jahrome, Brandon and Ryley come down to Melbourne,” Ponissi said.
“Jahrome and Brandon are very talented and exciting young players that we look forward to seeing develop at Melbourne Storm and become a big part of our Club’s future.”
“Ryley has been outstanding for the Falcons and impressed our recruiting staff during this season. He is a welcomed addition to our halves and we look forward to seeing him thrive in an NRL system.”