Fast becoming everyone’s favourite footy player off the field, Christian Welch will stick around at the Melbourne Storm.
Welch, who was apparently being headhunted by the new Dolphins franchise, will instead stay with the Storm for a further three years.
With 117 NRL games to his name so far and numerous Origin berths for Queensland, he has become a focal point of the Storm go-forward.
It was back in 2015 when Welch made his debut and the last few years have seen him take his game to a new level.
His form and popularity have many fans excited to see him play and Storm General Manager of Football Frank Ponissi is one of those people.
“We’re very happy that Christian has committed to this new contract with us that will take his time with Storm well past the 10-year mark,” Ponissi said.
“He was off contract at the end of 2022 and was a priority re-signing for us.”
It has not been all roses for Welch in his career, though, with a couple of ACL injuries threatening to derail his career.
Despite that, Welch persevered and that was not lost on Ponissi.
“Although his career has had some setbacks, he has persevered and continued to grow and mature as a player on the field and as a leader of our club both on and off the field,” Ponissi continued.
“There’s no doubt he will play a very important role in Storm’s future.”
Welch thanked his family, the club and its fans and expressed his excitement to return to AAMI Park in 2022.
“Special thanks to my family in Brisbane,” Welch said.
“They understand how special a club it is and have continued to support me staying down here.
“I can’t wait to get out there on AAMI Park in front of our fans who have had it so tough for the last few years.”