Jahrome Hughes speaks out about Titans links amid major call on Melbourne Storm's spine

Hughes insists he wants to stay at Melbourne long-term.

Melbourne star Jahrome Hughes says he has no desire to leave the Storm, insisting that he wants to play out the remainder of his NRL career at the club. The 29-year-old has been linked with a move to the Titans in recent weeks but Hughes shut down those rumours, saying he has no interest in joining Gold Coast and that his sole focus is on winning more premierships with the Storm.

The 2020-premiership-winning-half is contracted with Melbourne until the end of 2026 but is viewed by the Titans as a potential Kieran Foran replacement when the elite half retires. But Hughes says he has no interest in moving away from Melbourne labelling suggestions he might end up at the Titans "all lies".

Pictured Jahrome Hughes
Jahrome Hughes insists he wants to play the rest of his NRL career at Melbourne, shutting down speculation he could move to the Gold Coast. Image: Getty

"If I have my way I will be staying in Melbourne for the rest of my career. That is what I am trying to do, but there is no hurry (to sign a new deal). I still have two more years after this on my contract," Hughes told AAP.

Hughes' partner is from the Golf Coast and he made his NRL debut for the Titans back in 2013. And while the halfback says he would consider moving back to the Gold Coast, it wouldn't be until his NRL career is over. "We are looking to start a family and we both love it in Melbourne. I am keen to have kids down there," Hughes said.

Melbourne have been an NRL force for the last two decades but after the "Big Three'' of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith left the club, there was talk that the Storm's premiership window had closed for good. The trio all played in the 2012 and 2017 grand final wins and Smith was also a member of the 2020 premiership side, which featured fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, Hughes and five-eighth Cameron Munster.

But now years later the Storm have somewhat of a big four in Hughes, Munster, Papenhuyzen and Harry Grant, making up arguably the NRL's strongest spine. And it is that blue-chip spine that has Hughes believing more titles are coming at Melbourne in the near future. "I feel like our spine can create something really special here if we all stay together," Hughes said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 07: Vice-captain Jahrome Hughes, captain Harry Grant and vice-captain Cameron Munster of the Storm pose during a Melbourne Storm NRL captaincy announcement at AAMI Park on February 07, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Chadwick/Getty Images)
Jahrome Hughes believes Melbourne have one of the NRL's strongest spines.

"Sometimes that doesn't happen, but I know we are all keen to stay. Injuries have stopped us playing together as much as we would have liked. I know people wrote us off when the Big Three retired and we haven't done anything yet without them, but we feel like we are building something special.

"We haven't won a comp without Smithy and we want to change that. I know we have a few good players in the spine, but it is not going to just come to us. We need to work hard, but I feel like the team as a whole is working hard to achieve that goal. There is a competitive spirit in this team and I feel like that is what you need to win comps."


While Hughes will miss this weekend's match against competition leaders Cronulla with a calf injury, he has full faith in the side to get another win. Melbourne have won six of seven games in 2024 by eight points or less, showing the real grit and determination and Hughes believes it is an area that sets them apart from the rest of the competition.

"We love the way the team fights and can win the close games," Hughes said. "Credit goes especially to the forward pack. I know they get written off a little bit, but they have come a long way, especially from last year. I think this team can win a comp."

with AAP