Brenko Lee in Storm NRL contract extension

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

Melbourne centre Brenko Lee's impressive first NRL season with the Storm has been rewarded with a new one-year deal.

The signing comes as NRL clubs are forced to confirm at least 24 of their top 30 for the 2021 season, Lee as well as young playmaker Cooper Johns have both signed 12-month deals with the Storm.

Twenty-nine players must be contracted by the start of next March, with the final roster spot to be filled by June 30 next year.

The first deadline comes despite the NRL not yet arriving on a final salary cap figure for next season.

It caps a big year for Lee, who joined the Storm after being released by Gold Coast at the end of 2019, played 14 games in 2020 and was part of Melbourne's grand final triumph over Penrith.

The 25-year-old was in line to make his State of Origin debut on Wednesday for Queensland but was ruled out before the game after failing a fitness test on his injured calf.

The Storm have also signed George Jennings from Parramatta on a two-year deal while hooker Harry Grant is back from loan at Wests Tigers.

Part of the Grant package, Paul Momirovski goes back to the Tigers as a result and the rugby league world waits for Cameron Smith to make a call on his future.

Meanwhile, the Sydney Roosters have tied down captain Jake Friend as well as brothers Brett Morris and Josh Morris for next season.

Friend, who made his debut for the Maroons in the 18-14 win over NSW in Adelaide, has made 263 appearances for the Roosters since debuting in 2008.

Elsewhere, Brisbane have left six roster spots open as the first-time wooden spooners prepare for life under new coach Kevin Walters.

Former Origin hooker Anthony McCullough is back at Red Hill after his one-season loan deal with Newcastle was abruptly cut short by a knee injury.

Further north things appear more settled as Todd Payten begins his time as North Queensland coach, with 29 spots already filled.

However there are reports 22-year-old halfback Jake Clifford, contracted for 2021 at the Cowboys, could leave the club early for Newcastle.

That would open the door for Payten to reunite with his former Tigers teammate Benji Marshall who remains unsigned but keen to extend his 324-game career into a 19th season.