The three-year extension will keep the front-rower at the Storm until 2025. He was already under contract for next season, but had been free to negotiate with rival clubs from November 1 for the 2023 season.
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“I love this club, so I’m pumped to be staying around till the end of 2025. I came down as an 18 year old and have made some lifelong friendships and memories along the way,” Welch wrote on Twitter.
The 27-year-old has played State of Origin for Queensland and had been courted by the Dolphins ahead of their NRL debut in 2023.
“Special thanks to my family in Brisbane,” Welch said in a statement released by Melbourne.
“They understand how special a club it is and have continued to support me staying down here,” he said.
“I can’t wait to get out there on AAMI Park in front of our fans who have had it so tough for the last few years.”
Welch was elevated to the Storm leadership group this season, having first joined the club in 2013, making his NRL debut two years later.
“We’re very happy that Christian has committed to this new contract with us that will take his time with Storm well past the 10-year mark,” the club’s Frank Ponissi said.
“He was off contract at the end of 2022 and was a priority re-signing for us.
“Although his career has had some setbacks, he has persevered and continued to grow and mature as a player on the field and as a leader of our club both on and off the field.
“There’s no doubt he will play a very important role in Storm’s future.”
Welch is the second Dolphins target in as many days to re-sign with his current club, after Patrick Carrigan extended his contract with Brisbane.
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