Confirmed Storm trio to UK

tsjonathan

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Melbourne Storm trio sign with Wigan for 2011
Written by: Dave Donaghy - Storm media
Jul 19, 2010 8:53pm

Melbourne Storm has tonight confirmed three members of its 2010 NRL squad, Ryan Hoffman, Jeff Lima and Brett Finch, have agreed to terms with English Super League club Wigan.

Hoffman, Lima and Finch will depart Melbourne at the end of the 2010 NRL season, reuniting with ex-Storm assistant coach, Michael Maguire, the current Wigan head coach.

Hoffman has secured a one-year deal at Wigan, with an option for a second, while Finch, 29 in August, has signed a two-year deal and Lima a three-year deal. Hoffman said the decision to leave Melbourne was a reluctant yet exciting one.

“Melbourne's been my home for the past eight years,” he said. “It was a very tough decision to go but hopefully, with me taking this opportunity overseas, it will give someone else the chance to have the same great experiences that I have had here.

“I'm proud and honoured to have been able to play for the Storm.

“Likewise I'm excited about playing for one of if not the most famous rugby league clubs in the world and becoming part of that club's already great history.

“Playing overseas is something that I've always wanted to do so when the opportunity to join a club that is on the verge of something special was too good to refuse.”

Finch added: “I've loved my time here in Melbourne. “It's been a difficult year, but if I had to go through it, I'm glad it was with this group.

“This club gave me an opportunity to continue in the NRL after I left Parramatta but playing in England has always been in the back of my mind.

"I've always wanted to play there and I'm extremely glad I'm going to such a strong club with a strong value set and a proud tradition.”

Finch will play his 254th NRL game against Penrith at AAMI on Saturday while Hoffman, 26, has played 163 NRL games – all for the Storm.

Lima, 28, has played 93 NRL games, 91 for the Storm.

Lima said: “It was Melbourne that threw a lifeline to me back in 2006 and I won't forget what this club has done for my family in that time.

“I'll be leaving with a lot of great memories.”

Storm coach Craig Bellamy said it was always tough to farewell players who had made such a mark in their time in Melbourne.

“It's always a sad time when you have to say farewell to one player, let alone three,” said Bellamy. “Ryan, as an example, has been here for eight seasons since he was 18, and in that time I've been fortunate enough to watch him develop from a boy to a man.

“I played with his father, Jay, at Canberra and he's of the same ilk, a really good person.

“These three players will forever be remembered by all at the club for the contributions that they have made both the Melbourne Storm and to the game.

“We have seven weeks now to send them out of this club on the right note. They've been great servants of rugby league in this country.”

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Centaur

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One year deal for Hoffman? A bit strange for a young guy with a big reputation. Perhaps wants to come back to the NRL straight after.
 
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