Storm star at centre of shock NRL rumour

NRL Rd 5 -  Storm v Broncos
Jahrome Hughes has laughed off suggestions he wants to return to the Gold Coast, insisting Melbourne is his new home. Picture: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Superstar Storm halfback Jahrome Hughes has hit back at “rumours” he wants to move back to the Gold Coast, insisting Melbourne is his home now as the club ramps up talks to extend the Kiwis playmaker until 2028.

Hughes played one game for the Titans in 2013 but has developed into one of the world’s best halfbacks at the Storm, with the international star already locked in until the end of the 2026 season.

He picked up three Dally M votes in the win over the Roosters last week and has been outstanding to start 2024, but reports on Monday suggested he wanted to move back to Queensland where his wife is from.

Hughes addressed that on Monday and made it clear that his future is in Melbourne, which would be a blow to the Titans who desperately need a dominant halfback to save them.

NRL Rd 7 -  Roosters v Storm
Jahrome Hughes has no plans on leaving the Storm despite being linked with a move to the Titans. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

“That’s just rumours. I don’t know what they’re talking about,” he said.

“I haven’t seen the story or anything, but a few boys have said something to me, and I don’t know what they’re talking about.

“I was up there before I started my NRL career and played for the Gold Coast Titans, but I think they’re just trying to make a story out of it at the moment.

“This feels like home now. This is my home at the moment.

“My wife is from Queensland, but she’s loving it down here. This is home for us.”

The Storm sits second after seven rounds and face the struggling Rabbitohs on Anzac Day, but Hughes is well aware that things could be a lot different if it weren’t for some clutch plays in the dying minutes that have saved them in 2024.

Their biggest win this season has been by eight points, with Melbourne scoring the winning try in the final 10 minutes in four of their five victories, with winger Xavier Coates saving them with some spectacular plays.

Xavier Coates scored a late try to help the Storm sneak past the Roosters in round 7. Picture: NRL Photos
Xavier Coates scored a late try to help the Storm sneak past the Roosters in round 7. Picture: NRL Photos

“I feel like that was our problem last year, not playing the full 80 (minutes),” Hughes said.

“I feel like this year we’ve been able to come back late in games and get the win while being behind.

“It’s probably not good for our fans or coaching staff waiting so late to win it, but we’d rather be winning those games than lose them.

“Everyone wants to win comfortably and not want to do something special in the last couple of minutes – and luckily we’ve got a guy like ‘X’ (Coates) who can do that – but it would be nice to win a game by more than 10 points.”

NRL Rd 8 - Storm v Warriors
Anzac Day is a special occasion for Nelson Asofa-Solomona. Picture: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

The Storm can go top of the table if they beat Souths on Anzac Day, which will have a slightly different feel to it this year with the Warriors no longer coming to town.

Instead, they’ll host a game across the ditch earlier on Thursday, ending a tradition that started back in 2009.

“It’s always a special occasion for the Storm,” towering prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona said.

“For me, I debuted in an Anzac game back in 2015, so it’s something I hold dear to me and my family.

“We’re all looking forward to the occasion.”