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Family first for departing Storm star

Jordan McLean of the Storm is tackled by Addin Fonua-Blake (left) and Frank Winterstein of the Sea Eagles.
Jordan McLean of the Storm is tackled by Addin Fonua-Blake (left) and Frank Winterstein of the Sea Eagles. DAN HIMBRECHTS

POWERFUL Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean is leaving the club at the end of the season but says that's no extra motivation for success.

McLean, 25, last month signed a three-year deal to join the North Queensland Cowboys in 2018.

"I don't think about it (next year) too much. Every game I play for Storm is always important for me," McLean said.

"I wanted to get it done straight away so I could focus on this year and play my best footy."

The Storm are favourites to go one step further than last year and win the NRL premiership after their hot 6-1 start to the season.

The 196cm, 115kg forward said the decision to leave was based purely on being closer to family in North Queensland.

His mother and partner's family live in the region.

"It's definitely one of the toughest things I've had to do," the father of two said.

"I love this place and I will always love this place and I love the people that are here.

"It wasn't the easiest one but it was something I had to do and I had to do for my family."

McLean, who missed two games with a niggling calf injury, is looking forward to the Anzac Day blockbuster against the New Zealand Warriors after playing just 44 minutes last week in his comeback game.

He wanted to play sooner but the Storm were ultra-cautious with the enforcer given his history of soft-tissue injuries.

McLean ran 99m from 10 carries and laid 24 tackles in the hard-fought 30-26 win over the Manly Sea Eagles.

"It's very tough watching from the sideline when the boys are out there each week," McLean said.

"It's (Anzac Day) always a big game against the Warriors and I'm sure this one will be no different.

"It's not just about footy; it's bigger than footy ... (The) blackout before the game is very special.

"It builds a lot of emotion for the game, it's always a big game and you always turn up for it."

Topics:  jordan mclean melbourne storm

News Corp Australia

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