Rugby league’s hottest property Greg Inglis will remain with NRL premiers Melbourne for the next four years.
Inglis signed a two-year contract extension to his current deal and is now tied to the club until the end of the 2012 season.
The 21-year-old Test and State of Origin star had been linked with being another high-profile defector from league to union.
But instead of following Sonny Bill Williams, Mark Gasnier and Craig Gower out of league, Inglis has decided to remain faithful to both the code and the club which developed him from a raw teenager into arguably the game’s best current player.
Storm chief executive Brian Waldron and Inglis’s manager Allen Gainey agreed to the contract this morning.
Waldron would not reveal how much Inglis would get under the new deal.
But he said Inglis had signed for less than he could have received at other clubs and in rugby union.
“It is commensurate with his status in the game, but the money available overseas and outside Melbourne was greater, but he made sacrifices for his long-term future,” Waldron said.
“It’s a great thing for the Melbourne Storm, it’s a great thing for rugby league more than anything.”
Inglis has had a rollercoaster few days, making a mercy dash to his father’s bedside after he was hospitalised following a heart attack.
Twenty-four hours later, Inglis helped the Storm thump South Sydney in Melbourne to secure the minor premiership, won the award for best representative player in last night’s Dally M awards, then signed his new contract today.
“I’m definitely happy with the deal. I got offers from overseas — I could have earned over a mill a season — but I didn’t want to take those offers,” Inglis said.
“I love it down here, and I want to be around this bunch of people (at the Storm).
“Financially it’s quite good, and it will probably set me up for good.”
Inglis now joins halfback Cooper Cronk, lock Dallas Johnson and winger Anthony Quinn among a host of players to have agreed long-term deals with the Storm this year.
The club is still negotiating with captain and hooker Cameron Smith, whose contract expires at the end of next season.