Experienced second-rower Ryan Hoffman says he has several options to weigh up regarding where he will play next season, with Melbourne Storm a strong contender.
The 301-game veteran, unwanted by the New Zealand Warriors beyond 2017, is in talks with the Storm, along with other NRL and Super League clubs. Melbourne is believed to be eyeing the former NSW Blues forward as a long-term successor to football director Frank Ponissi.
But while admitting he maintains an affinity with the Storm, Hoffman said he is keeping an open mind at this stage.
“I’ve got some really good options out there and currently working through them now,” Hoffman said.
“Certainly I hold Melbourne very dear in my heart.
Heard Ryan Hoffman will be back at the storm for 2018. Hope he gets the send off he deserves 👍
— Christian Sepuloni (@csepuloni) 7 August 2017
“Family [is the biggest factor], because I am pretty confident next year is going to be my last year in rugby league, I want to go somewhere where I am going to enjoy my footy and have a great experience.
“My wife is a traveler, my wife loves opportunities. We have got two young kids we want to give the chance to experience life.
“You are able to do that in Melbourne, you are able to do that overseas, you are able to do that in Sydney.”
Super League strugglers Catalans Dragons are thought to be the other front-runner, with their new head coach Steve McNamara, who worked with the Warriors as an assistant for half of the current NRL season, thought to be a major drawcard for Hoffman.
Despite having his year disrupted by a broken foot, which he will return from in Sunday’s match against the Canberra Raiders at Mount Smart Stadium, Hoffman has enjoyed strong form on the left edge for the Warriors in 2017, averaging 97 run metres and 26 tackles across 15 games.
Meanwhile, in other contract news, prop Jacob Lillyman said he remains unsure if he will remain in Auckland beyond the final four games of this campaign, with no deal finalised for 2018.
Having already lost Ben Matulino to the Wests Tigers, the Warriors are believed to have tabled an offer to Lillyman mid-year, which has since changed following the re-signing of fellow big boppers Ligi Sao and Albert Vete.
“Still not too sure yet, still working through some things with the manager,” Lillyman said.
“Obviously I have been here a while so it would be nice to stay, but certainly we will look at all options,” Lillyman said.
— OptaJason (@OptaJason) July 1, 2017