Canberra Raiders lose Ryan Hinchcliffe to Melbourne Storm NRL 2009Canberra Raiders hooker Ryan Hinchcliffe has today signed a two-year deal with the Melbourne Storm, joining the club until the end of the 2010 season.

Hinchcliffe has been signed as back-up in the hooker’s role for Storm captain Cam Smith, however he can also play in the back-row when needed.

 “He’s a tough kid who has pretty good skills around the ruck,” said Storm coach Craig Bellamy.

 “Cam is obviously our captain and hooker, but there’s definitely a spot in the 17 with his ability to fill in at hooker and play in the back-row.

 “With Matt Geyer retiring, we see Ryan possibly playing the role Matt has this year, and Nathan Friend and James Aubusson have played for us over the past couple of years.”

 Hinchcliffe has played 11 NRL games in his career so far, including four in 2008. And while he knows he’ll have a battle on his hands to unseat Smith, he was more than happy to sign with the Storm when the opportunity arose.

 “Initially I did want to stay (in Canberra). I like it here and all my family’s close by,” Hinchcliffe said.

 “But ask everyone in the NRL and they’ll tell you that the Melbourne Storm is the benchmark. So I’ll head down there, have a good off-season and try and fill a spot for next year.

 “But I’m just worrying about playing every game from now for the Raiders at the moment.

By ricky

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