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15 Dec 2017 23:10
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Hoffman holds Storm 'dear to heart'

    Departing Warriors back-rower Ryan Hoffman admits he could make an emotional return to Melbourne Storm in 2018.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Stephen Kearney
    Stephen Kearney

    Ryan Hoffman has admitted he holds Melbourne Storm "very, very dear to his heart", with the benchmark NRL club making a play to lure the Warriors second-rower back to Victoria.

    The 33-year-old Hoffman is set to leave Auckland at the end of the season after a three-year stint in which the club failed to make the NRL finals.

    Melbourne has been touted as a future destination for the former NSW and Kangaroos representative, having played 11 seasons in purple across two stints.

    He also won three NRL Premierships during that time, although two have since been stripped for the Storm's salary cap breaches.

    Storm director of football Frank Ponissi admitted to Australian media this week that the club would love to re-sign Hoffman for a final season, with Kiwis back-rower Tohu Harris heading in the other direction.

    Hoffman said he had a number of options for what would likely be the final year of his playing career, and confirmed the Storm was one of them.

    Various reports have also linked Hoffman to Super League outfit Catalans Dragons, where ex-Warriors assistant Steve McNamara is head coach.

    "I've got some really good options out there and we're currently working through them now," Hoffman told reporters on Wednesday.

    "Certainly, I hold Melbourne very, very dear to my heart."

    Hoffman, who has played 301 career NRL games, said his first priority when choosing his next club would be the best interests of his family, and giving his two young children the best possible experience.

    He then hoped to follow Ponissi's lead and become a club director.

    However, finishing the Warriors' 2017 campaign on a high note was his immediate focus, with the club set to miss their sixth straight NRL finals series.

    Removed from the captaincy at the start of the season, Hoffman has made 15 appearances under Stephen Kearney, scoring six tries.

    He'll return to the first-grade fold for this weekend's clash with Canberra in Auckland after six weeks out with a foot injury.

    "I want to finish off my time here at the club on a good note, and that's through good performances - that's the only way," Hoffman said.


    NZN




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