Widdop re-signs with Storm in NRL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Widdop re-signs with Storm in NRL

14/05/2011 05:22:09 PM Comments (0)

The Melbourne Storm has secured the services of young five-eighth Gareth Widdop for two more NRL seasons.

The Storm announced Widdop's re-signing on Saturday, with the English international also agreeing to a one-year extension option.

Widdop, 22, who before this season had played more Tests for England than first-grade games for the Storm, is considered one of the hottest properties in the NRL, with the Sydney Roosters believed to have been seriously courting the playmaker.

Widdop, who arrived in Melbourne with his family at 16, is a product of the Victorian Rugby League system. He started with Altona Roosters before signing with Storm in 2010.

He made his NRL debut on Anzac Day against the Warriors last year and went on to make his first representative appearance for England in the same year, scoring his first international try within two minutes of kick-off.

Widdop has made the transition from fullback to five-eighth with the Storm this season, cementing a first grade berth.

"Gareth is a good kid. His performances through the club's under 20s confirmed he was a wonderful talent with plenty of potential, supported by a real willingness to learn," Storm coach Craig Bellamy said.

"On the field, he continues to show strong improvement, especially with his direction and ability to help guide us around the park."

Widdop was happy to commit to the Storm, a club he said brings out the best in him.

"I love it here. The club has been great to me since I came through their development program as a 16-year-old," Widdop said.

"This is definitely where I think I can play my best football.

"I am very settled down here and I've got a young family (fiancee, Carly, and eight-month-old son, Braydon) in Melbourne.

"I'm happy with my footy, but I know that there is still plenty of room for improvement to reach my full potential within our team."

Widdop's signing adds to the core group of young stars who have committed to the club, including Matt Duffie, Kevin Proctor, Justin O'Neill and senior players Billy Slater and Ryan Hinchcliffe.

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