Melbourne Storm and Intrust Super Cup club Brisbane Easts have announced an extension of their partnership for the next three seasons, taking the relationship to at least the end of 2021.
Storm and Easts began their affiliation back in 2011 with the partnership providing a breeding ground for a number of current Storm first-grade players.
Cameron Munster, Tim Glasby, Felise Kaufusi, Kenny Bromwich and Christian Welch are just some of Storm's NRL players who have developed through the relationship with the Tigers.
As part of the agreement Easts Tigers' senior coaching staff will visit Storm's AAMI Park headquarters to meet with Craig Bellamy and his coaching staff, plus a number of contracted Tigers players will also have the opportunity to train with Melbourne's first-grade squad throughout pre-season as has been the case over recent years.
Melbourne Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi said, "The Club is very pleased to have extended our partnership for a further three years with Easts Tigers.
"It's been a very successful affiliation over the last eight years and provided a great pathway for a number of our players to make the transition to NRL football with Melbourne Storm.
"Christian Welch and Brodie Croft are both Brisbane juniors who have been part of the Tigers system and guys like Cameron Munster, Felise Kaufusi, Kenny Bromwich and Tim Glasby have all spent time preparing to become regular first-graders at Easts.
"We see the visits of the Tigers players to Melbourne as an equally important part of the relationship and hope after spending time with our NRL squad they go back better players and wiser for the experience."
Easts Tigers Chief Executive Officer Brian Torpy said, "We are delighted to extend our partnership with the Melbourne Storm for a further three seasons."
"The Storm continues to be rugby league's benchmark club and we are very excited to be able to learn from their people and systems, whilst providing a development platform for their next generation of first-grade players".
"We have enjoyed a close relationship with the Storm over the past eight season and are looking forward to further strengthening our relationship into the future".
The Tigers will have a closer working relationship with the Storm's recruitment and development staff to identify talented young players to feed into the Tigers system.
Melbourne Storm has both its feeder teams based in Queensland, with Sunshine Coast Falcons the Club's other affiliate in the Queensland Cup.
The Club has two development coaches who work closely with both feeder clubs and the players not selected in the NRL side each week providing an environment where they can continue to improve their game.