Bellamy makes his call on coaching future

AAP

Melbourne NRL coach Craig Bellamy has knocked back an offer from Brisbane and signed a contract extension with the Storm.

Off contract at the end of this season, Bellamy has signed a three-year deal worth around $4 million.

AAP understands Brisbane have been told of his decision, but it has to be ratified by the Melbourne board before the club can officially announce the new deal.

They hope to do it before the Storm’s game on Sunday in Newcastle.

Bellamy is staying put! Pic: GettyBellamy’s decision to resist a massive offer from the Broncos, to replace Wayne Bennett, is a huge coup for the Storm.

It emerged last month Broncos officials had secretly met Bellamy in Melbourne about the possibility of him replacing Bennett as early as next season.

The 58-year-old has guided the Storm to seven grand finals since taking charge in 2003, winning four of them including last year’s emphatic defeat of North Queensland.

He has coached Melbourne in 408 NRL games, highlighted by premierships in 2012 and 2017. Two earlier grand-final wins were stripped for salary-cap cheating.

While he had come close to retiring before his 2016 deal, it’s believed he’s reinvigorated by the success of the young talent in his line-up including Cameron Munster, Brodie Croft, Brandon Smith, Curtis Scott and Jahrome Hughes.

Bellamy’s decision is expected in turn to have an impact on veteran stars Cameron Smith and Billy Slater, who will need to make calls themselves about their futures at the Storm.

Smith and Slater, both 34, are also off contract this year.

The durable Smith is tipped to play on and reach an unparalleled 400 games, while Slater might opt to retire.