Star playmaker Cameron Munster says he will be a Melbourne NRL player in 2023, shutting down talk of him shifting to the Dolphins next season.
On the back of comments by Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett that suggested he would be at the new NRL entity in 2023, Munster assured the Storm he would see out his contract.
“There’s been speculation but I haven’t asked the club for a release for next year,” Munster told a Saturday press conference.
“I’m still contracted and I’m committed to next year.”
Melbourne have previously declared they would not release him from the final year of his deal even if he signs to play elsewhere in 2024.
They have held Brandon Smith to his contract this season despite the Kiwi rake signing to play with the Sydney Roosters in 2023.
Bennett raised the ire of the Storm in a radio interview by suggesting the Queensland State of Origin five-eighth could join his outfit for their inaugural season next year.
“If we don’t get him in 2023, which we believe we will, certainly 2024 is on the table for us and hopefully it’s on the table for him,” Bennett told SEN.
The Storm have made a formal complaint to the NRL that the Dolphins induced the 27-year-old to break his contract.
Munster said it was typical Bennett behaviour.
“Wayne’s Wayne, probably just trying to stir the pot,” the five-eighth said.
“It’s nothing to do with me.”
Munster said the ongoing postulation on his future was “frustrating”.
“I’m just worrying about trying to play good footy but I’m always been sent different articles about it,”” he said,
Unable to sign with another club until November 1, Munster didn’t reveal if he was looking elsewhere or if his next contract would be with the Storm again.
He has recently become a father which could increase the lure of moving back home to Queensland where his partner Bianca also has family.
“If it happens it happens, I haven’t really spoken to my partner Bianca or my management,” he said.
Having played 164 games with Melbourne since his debut in 2014, Munster said reaching the 200-match milestone remained a motivation.
“Bloody oath it is … I’m trying to knock that tally down to 200 and if I keep playing consistent footy and keep my body right I can’t see why I can’t reach 200 in 2023.”
Munster missed Melbourne’s ugly loss to Manly on Thursday night with a shoulder injury but says he will be fit for the Origin decider in Brisbane on Wednesday week.
“The shoulder has pulled up much better than expected – a bit of grade three carry-on … I will do everything I can to make sure I’m right,” he said.