Kiwis utility Jahrome Hughes has revealed the rationale behind his decision to reject the NZ Warriors' offer, after putting pen to paper to remain with the Melbourne Storm last week.
With the Warriors currently afforded plenty of extra space by Roger Tuivasa'-Sheck's impending departure to pursue his All Blacks dream, the 26-year-old Hughes emerged as a prime target to bring some much needed star power to Auckland.
But Hughes ultimately turned down the more lucrative offer - believed to be over $2 million over three years - to remain in Melbourne, where he played a key role in the Storm's 2020 premiership triumph.
Speaking to the NRL's official website before Thursday's season opener, Hughes has outlined exactly why he wants to stay with the Storm.
"When you look at the club we've got, it would be pretty silly to leave this place," Hughes says.
"I love this place, I've fallen in love with Melbourne too. It was a tough decision, but in the end I found it pretty easy.
"I'm happy where I am now, there's still a lot of things I want to get better at."
Hughes also added his desire to continue playing as a halfback played a part in his re-signing with the Storm, as opposed to potentially being asked to wear the No.1 jersey if he were to have signed for the Warriors.
"I was a fullback only a couple of years ago, but the Melbourne Storm team and the coaches have turned me into a halfback.
"I really want to progress on that, and I think this is the perfect place to be doing that."
Hughes and the Storm will contest the first game of the 2021 NRL season, facing off against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at AAMI Park.
Join us at 5pm Saturday for live updates of the Warriors v Gold Coast NRL season-opener