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Melbourne Storm forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona has dismissed reports of a rift with coach Craig Bellamy after making a successful return from injury in Thursday night’s win over the Roosters.

The 115-kilogram behemoth injured his hamstring early in the pre-season and battled multiple setbacks in the recovery process throughout a frustrating summer.

The injury struggles came as speculation mounted over his future in Melbourne, with reports suggesting the New Zealand international had fallen out with Bellamy.

Asofa-Solomona, however, has put the speculation to bed and declared his desire to see out his current contract through to its conclusion in 2027.

Storm star Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been frustrated with speculation over his future.
Storm star Nelson Asofa-Solomona has been frustrated with speculation over his future. ©NRL Photos

"I put in a lot of work in the off-season so to have rumours thrown around like that and to have my name get thrown through the mud was just wrong," Asofa-Solomona said.

"I wanted to correct it but the people close to me knew the truth. They said don't worry about it, don't listen to the noise.

"I just control what I can control. I can't control what people say on the outside, what I can do is play good footy and let my footy do the talking."

Asofa-Solomona ran for 70 metres and made 17 tackles in 32 minutes on Thursday night in his return to the NRL.

Xavier Coates Try

The Storm ultimately prevailed 18-12 in a tense clash in which both sides struggled to find their groove.

Asofa-Solomona’s performance came after two appearances in reserve grade for the North Sydney Bears.

While there was no rift, Bellamy did challenge him to be better during the off-season and was pleased with the forward’s outing.

"I thought he did a good job," Bellamy said after Thursday's game. 

"There's a little bit around his defence that we were a little bit concerned about but he knew what that was. He made a conscious effort tonight to improve that and he did. 

"He carried the ball real strong for us. They [did] a pretty good job to handle him like they did. The real improvement was in a couple of those defensive actions that we need from him to be more consistent. 

"He did it tonight and hopefully as we go on he'll get more and more game time and be a real benefit for us."

Asofa-Solomona knows he has a long way to go before he returns to the form that made him among the most damaging forwards in the game.

He’s confident, however, he’s on the right track and views Thursday’s match as a stepping stone.

Emotions will be high next week when the Storm host the Rabbitohs on Anzac Day, with Asofa-Solomona eager to lead his team to their third-straight victory.

"I had a good talk with the coaches [in the off-season]," he said. "It's about applying the energy in the right place for the team. I feel like last year I let my team down being too aggressive, making silly errors of judgement, trying to get into scuffles. 

"It's not part of the game and it's not part of my game anymore. I'm trying to rub it out, trying to do what's right for the team."

Acknowledgement of Country

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.