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Cowboys nab McLean from Storm in NRL deal

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 20/03/2017 Laine Clark

Another Melbourne NRL forward will leave the Storm pack, with North Queensland confirming they have added much-needed depth by snapping up Jordan McLean from 2018.

McLean, 25, after signing a three-year Cowboys deal, will join the Warriors-bound Tohu Harris out the door next year following Kevin Proctor's 2016 Gold Coast defection.

While a blow to Melbourne, McLean's signature is a huge boost for a Cowboys pack still reeling from the off-season departure of Test prop James Tamou to Penrith and Ben Hannant's retirement.

The Cowboys are also sweating on co-captain Matt Scott's future.

However, North Queensland will back their chances to secure the Test prop as a one-club man, after Newcastle coach Nathan Brown had reportedly pulled their lucrative offer to Scott in light of his season-ending knee injury a fortnight ago.

Either way, the Cowboys have insurance after the 196cm, 115kg McLean - in his fifth NRL season with Melbourne - had signed until at the least the end of 2020.

"Jordan's a wonderful young player who's come through a very good developmental pathways system at Melbourne, so we know that we'll be getting both a quality player and a quality person," Cowboys football manager Peter Parr said.

"We have always said we would look to add to our roster in that front-row position and we're thrilled Jordan has agreed to terms from 2018 onwards."

McLean has played 69 games since his 2013 debut - 21 last season including the 2016 grand-final loss to Cronulla.

McLean might be the latest Storm forward to leave but the young gun admits it had not been an easy decision.

He said it would be tough saying goodbye to a club who had stood by him through difficult times.

McLean was suspended for seven weeks for a 2014 dangerous throw that left Newcastle's Alex McKinnon in a wheelchair.

"The Storm has been tremendous for me in terms of my development as a player and as a person," McLean said in a statement.

"They've stood by me and (coach) Craig Bellamy and his staff have helped me improve my game.

"Craig handed me my NRL debut and that's something I'll treasure always."

McLean said he looked forward to finishing strongly with Melbourne.

"There's still a job to do here, and myself and my teammates in Melbourne are committed to making 2017 a great season," he said.

McLean was impressive in Melbourne's 14-12 last-round win over Brisbane, amassing 117 metres.

"We are disappointed Jordan has decided to depart the club at the end of the season, however we know he will continue to do his best and perform well for the club and his teammates," Melbourne football director Frank Ponissi said.

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