‘Going to be hard for Melbourne’: Storm’s $8M plan to keep Big Three from Bennett’s Dolphins

The Storm are preparing to spend $8 million in a bid keep their current Big Three in one of the biggest retention packages in NRL history.

Melbourne have kicked-off negotiations with Maroons duo Cameron Munster and Harry Grant, and premiership-winning halfback Jahrome Hughes.

Hughes’ management will arrive in Melbourne on Thursday to advance discussions on a club record six-year $5 million extension, according to News Corp.

Wayne Bennett’s Dolphins have already poached Storm trio Jesse and Kenny Bromwich and Felise Kaufusi for their inaugural season in the NRL next year.

Brandon Smith will join the Roosters next season, but Melbourne have retained Ryan Papenhuyzen with a $2 million extension that keeps him at the club until the end of 2025.

“You’ve got Munster being circled by the Dolphins, you’ve got Jahrome Hughes being circled by the Dolphins, you’ve got Harry Grant being circled by the Dolphins,” NRL 360 co-host Paul Kent said.

“They’re going to come in with top dollar, the Dolphins. Can the Storm keep all three? That’s going to be a major, major exercise, it really is.

“They’ve got money in the cap and Munster would be close to top dollar but Hughes is going to be looking for a significant upgrade.

“Harry Grant has got the added bonus of going back home to Queensland where he can surf every weekend when he’s not playing and he’s going to be looking for an upgrade.

“The (Bromwich brothers) are going to go up there to set the standard and put the culture into the place, but they still need star players to go up and deliver the results.”

NRL 360 co-host Braith Anasta believes Grant is keen to head home.

“The noise is that Harry wants to go back to Queensland and the Dolphins are making a big play at him,” Anasta said.

“They’re making a big play at Hughes as well. It’s going to be hard for Melbourne.

“They’re also trying to sign the three of them right now before Bellamy’s decision has been made, so it’s a bit of a tough one for the players too considering they don’t know who the coach is going to be.”




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