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:	NRL, Rugby League, Grand Final, Melbourne Storm v  Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs @ ANZ Stadium, Homebush, NSW, Sunday September 30th, 2012. Digital Image by Renee McKay ©

Melbourne Storm has today announced that favourite son Ryan Hoffman will return to the Club for the 2018 season.

Hoffman has signed a one-year deal that will see him finish his playing career in the purple jersey.

The 33-year-old will have the opportunity to become just the fifth player in history to play 250 games for Storm, having made 245 appearances for the Club between 2003-2010 and 2012-2014.

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In addition to Hoffman, Storm have also signed promising young prop Patrick Kaufusi from the Cowboys until at least the end of the 2019 season.

The 23-year-old Tongan international is the third Kaufusi to join the Club, following in the footsteps of his older brothers Felise and Antonio.

A highly regarded youngster, Kaufusi is a versatile forward who will play both up the middle and on the edge for Melbourne.

The return Hoffman is yet another dose of great news for Storm fans following last week’s Grand Final victory and Billy Slater’s decision to play on next year.

Hoffman was part of three Grand Final wins for Melbourne and was made a life member of the Club in 2013.

The veteran’s addition to the playing squad will further assist the likes of Joe Stimson in taking the next step in their development.

Stimson was one of many exciting Storm youngsters to make their mark this year. After making his debut in Round 2, the 21-year-old showed enormous potential in the 15 games he played for Craig Bellamy’s side.

It was a debut season that leaves Stimson well placed for a big 2018 campaign.

“Melbourne Storm are very excited about the continued development of Joe Stimson, who we expect will make a strong claim for Tohu Harris’ spot in the second row,” Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said.

“Ryan Hoffman is going to add some much needed experience and leadership to the squad.

“Having lost three forwards from our Grand Final team in Jordan McLean, Tohu Harris and Slade Griffin, we believe Hoffman and Kaufusi are valuable inclusions that will help offset the departure of that trio.

“Along with a host of current Storm players, both Patrick and Ryan will be pressing hard for a position in our starting 17.”

Both players will start in November when the first group of players return to the Club to commence pre-season training.

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Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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