Storm lose rep pair
12/07/2010 8:18 PM
The gradual break-up of Melbourne's premiership-winning team has gathered pace with representative forwards Ryan Hoffman and Jeff Lima both signing with English Super League club Wigan.
The pair will join Ryan Tandy and Aidan Tolman (both Bulldogs) in exiting the Storm in the wake of the salary cap scandal.
More players are expected to follow them out the door in coming months, with the full extent of the club's salary cap rorting to be revealed this week.
Melbourne is desperate to hang to its Big Four – Greg Inglis, Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater – but is resigned to losing at least one.
Inglis was reportedly keen to join the Broncos so he can follow girlfriend Sally Robinson, who is about to start a job in Brisbane.
But the Broncos' offer may have to be upped, with the Test and Origin star not happy with the original deal.
If Inglis does go – on top of Hoffman, Tandy, Tolman and Lima leaving – the Storm's player wage bill would drop by around $1m.
Just last Wednesday Hoffman expressed a strong desire to stay at the Storm, but financial pressures have forced him out.
The exodus to Wigan may not end there, with Wigan boss and former Melbourne assistant Michael McGuire possibly eyeing several other players.