Craig Bellamy has implored the Melbourne Storm to lock in five-eighth Cameron Munster, stressing how vital he is to the club's future.
As revealed by NRL.com on Wednesday, Munster hasn't decided whether he would extend his Storm contract beyond 2019. The Storm coach said the 23-year-old had proven his quality and should be retained.
"I think he's really important," he said.
"Over the last two or three years he's proven how good of a player he is. This year he's really reinforced that. He probably took a couple of weeks to get used to the five-eighth spot again as he hasn't played a whole heap of that.
"He's done a magnificent job for us this year. We need to hang on to him without a doubt. Hopefully, in future, we can come to an arrangement with Cameron."
Munster is understood to be waiting to see what his Storm coach would do before making a final decision.
But Bellamy doesn't think that is a factor and questioned the notion other players weren't doing the same with regards to their playing futures.
"I'm not sure if Cameron's just saying that to be nice. At the end of the day, he's a really important part of this club's future going forward. It doesn't matter who else is here, or who ain't here," Bellamy said.
Coaches Corner: The influence of a good five-eighth
Munster has arguably been the Storm's most consistent player in 2018 and has had to work with two inexperienced No.7s in Brodie Croft and Ryley Jacks.
Heading into Saturday afternoon's match against the Gold Coast in Brisbane, Bellamy knows his team need to move on quickly from their out-of-sorts display against the Dragons.
"We went back to the inconsistency we had early in the year," he said.
"We weren't overly impressed with that. It's time to get back to the drawing board. Having said that, St George [Illawarra] are the benchmark at the moment. But we didn't make it easy on ourselves.
''They've been beaten once this year and through nine rounds, that's not easy to do."
The Titans are ninth with only three wins, but the Storm mentor says their injuries haven't helped them.
"I thought they did a good job with their recruitment this year.," he said.
"Jai Arrow has been playing really well and Jarrod Wallace was obviously there last year. He's done a really good job for them as well. I think injuries this year - they've been really unlucky there. I'm sure if they get a bit of stability there, they'll improve and go up the table."
The Storm are giving Curtis Scott until the captain's run to prove his fitness after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Warriors.
And of his own contract situation, Bellamy said he was getting closer to making a decision but hasn't confirmed his intentions yet.