The New Zealand Warriors apparently would like to see the backside of Ryan Hoffman following the conclusion of the 2017 Telstra NRL Premiership competition, indicating that there will be no offer of a contract for the 33-year-old next season.
The Melbourne Storm, however, seems to think they can stave off Hoffman’s retirement for another year and bring him back to Victoria for a retirement tour.
Hoffman has 301 games to his credit, 245 of those with the Storm from 2003 – 2010 and 2012 – 2014 as a second-rower for the Storm that included three Grand Final wins.
Director of Football Frank Ponissi revealed that club officials had met with Hoffman about the idea of bringing him back to the Storm for a swansong tour.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Ponissi said, “Without giving away too much, we’ve certainly had conversations with Ryan about finishing his career here and that is a possibility. He’s got some other offers at the moment, which he’s considering, but we’re certainly having a chat. It’s still very … early days, he has got a couple of other options that he’s considering but it would be great to get him back.”
Hoffman has been out for the past six weeks due to an ankle injury he sustained in the pre-game for round 17. He was having a good season, averaging almost 97 metres running and 26 tackles per game.
Other NRL teams, those in Sydney in particular, have been part of the courtship process and the French Club Catalans could write a big cheque and lure him to Europe.
Without any of the sordid or lurid details that took Hoffman from the Storm, not once but twice, it would seem that he would make a good fit. The Warriors are going nowhere, while the Storm seems solid for the future, so the expectations for Hoffman as a member of the Storm would be realistic, where he could fill the experience void that will be created by the loss of several key Storm players.