NRL centre Justin Olam looks set for a move to Super League as his current club close in on a new deal for a new signing.
Olam was linked with both Warrington Wolves and St Helens but a move to Warrington will not happen with the Wolves utilising their final quota spots, including on a centre in the shape of Rodrick Tai.
But St Helens have left the number three jersey vacant ahead of the new season as they look to utilise the jersey and their final quota spot on a centre.
However, any move seemed to be off with the centre set for a swap deal with Shawn Blore from Wests Tigers but that deal collapsed. It’s now the case that Melbourne have made a move for Blore free of any link with Olam moving to Wests.
In turn this leaves Olam available and the door is wide open for St Helens to make the move for the centre ahead of next year. Olam would slot straight into the centres and take on the position and shirt number vacated by Will Hopoate, the Tongan star leaving Saints at the end of 2023 before retiring.
As for Olam’s current club, Melbourne Storm have been busy using their cap space on Tepai Moeroa, Grant Anderson and Dean Ieremia who have all put pen to paper on new one-year deals, keeping them at AAMI Park until the end of the 2024 season.
Storm player no. 215, Moeroa made his first appearance in the Purple jersey in Round 21, 2021, after spending a year with the NSW Waratahs. He played four games in 2021 and was among Storm’s forward pack in the first eight games of the 2022 season before he sustained a shoulder injury which ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign. He capped off that year by representing the Cook Islands in the Rugby League World Cup. 28-year-old Moeroa has played 130 NRL games since he debuted for the Paramatta Eels in 2014.
Promising young-gun, Ieremia will be looking to make a return to the starting line-up in 2024 after an ACL injury in the pre-season of 2023 ruled him out for the year. The 22-year-old Samoan winger has played 22 games for Storm since he debuted in Round 8, 2021, the same year he was dubbed Storm’s Rookie of the Year. Ieremia is a local Victorian product having played his junior football with the Sunbury Tigers.
Anderson became player no. 222 when he debuted for Storm against the Sydney Roosters in Round 14, 2022, scoring two tries and playing a crucial role in the Club’s win that game. He has made a total of 10 NRL appearances with a standout performance in Round 27 this season scoring a double against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.
Storm Head of Football, Frank Ponissi, said securing the trio is a testament to their hard work.
“We see a lot of potential and up-side in Tep, Grant and Dean,” Ponissi said.
“Tep has a lot of NRL experience and was showing some really good form in particular towards the last half of the season in 2023. We’ll look to get a really good pre-season into him and hopefully we can see him go to new heights next year.
“Dean had a rough run with injury this year but we’re confident with a good pre-season that we can get him back into a position to put his hand up for selection week-in and week-out.
“When Grant wasn’t named in the NRL line-up he was playing some impressive footy with the Sunshine Coast Falcons. His Round 27 game against the Broncos was probably one of the best games we’ve seen him play where he scored two tries and hopefully we can continue to build on that talent and see more of it throughout the season.