SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Cameron Smith of the Storm passes during the round eight NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the Melbourne Storm at Shark Park on May 03, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Melbourne Storm champion Cameron Smith is set to make a shock switch to halfback.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the 36-year old discussed the change with Melbourne hierarchy in a meeting last week that included coach Craig Bellamy.

Broide Croft played the No. 7 jersey for the majority of last season but struggled to cement his spot in the side, with Jahrome Hughes taking his place in the finals.

Smith, arguably the greatest hooker in the game’s history, has changed the way the game has played by orchestrating the Storm’s attack.

The potential shift would pair Smith with Cameron Munster in the halves, with Brandon Smith as the fulltime hooker and Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback.

Hughes would move into the centres to cover Canberra-bound Curtis Scott.

The report states that a final decision is yet to be made, but all parties are open to the move.

Smith only recently declared his plans to extend his career into 2020.

“I haven’t spoken to Craig officially about next year; we’ve had some discussions about the way I’ve pulled up from the season just gone and where I’m at, at the moment, with my thoughts on next year,” Smith told AAP last week.

“I must say I feel a lot better than I did a week or two weeks after we finished up. It takes a little bit to get over that disappointment, I guess more so now being older and knowing that the chances are running out.

“But I feel a lot better now about playing on next year and this will be a good chance to see what his thoughts are.”


  1. Looks like the Storm have written off Croft.

    This is not as surprising as it might look. The Storm have a big problem with the No.7 position whilst they have Brandon Smith who has been very patient biding his time as Cam Smith’s replacement. At the same time, Hughes was a competent 7 but not brilliant (hardly surprising) and Centre may suit him better. Smith to seven probably extends Cam’s durability and might just turn out to be a master stroke.

    Meanwhile, the Storm need to search high and low for a good no 7 for the coming years.

  2. Not bad – it will certainly keep Brandon Smith at the club, and have them all on the field at the same time. I am sure that it will work (as C Smith will not have to make ~50 tackles per game). Interested to see how he changes up the position, and who does the majority of the kicking. Also interested to hear peoples list of Hooker/Halfback combinations ranked in not only kicks but also maybe speed…

  3. Smith’s 50 tackles per game are either 2nd or 3rd man in or flops. He rarely puts himself in a position where a collision is involved or where he needs to make a one on one tackle. That will change in the halves when big 2nd rowers are running at him all game. He will be exposed there. And in attack he will be one of those halves that just passes or kicks the ball. He will very rarely take the ball to the line and risk getting belted. Much the same as he has been doing at hooker for the last 18 years. OVER RATED.

  4. Brandon Smith is a good player, but he is a run hard hit I’m hard sort of player. Not a lot of finess. I would not be surprised if Harry Grant gets a run. A similar type of player to Smith.

  5. Manwar – sure your not confusing Cam with Paul Gallen ?, that is exactly what he used to do.

    I agree, Smith is likely to have a specific task to perform and may not act like a conventional no. 7. I think he might have played 7 when he was younger, before his NRL days. Anyway, it is going to be interesting and it gives Brandon a chance of getting accustomed to NRL football.

    A lot has been said about Smithy retiring and about this being his last year. Personally i would like to see him go round in 2021 and really put that number of games record beyond reach.

  6. When I first saw this the other day I thought it was a master stroke. I think Hughes suits the centre spot best and glad Brandon Smith finally gets to start.
    But if Curtis Scott leaves and with Will Chambers already gone where does that money get spent. I think Jai Arrow would be a really nice signing but apparently he’s more Sydney bound than Melbourne. Maybe they resign everyone and get someone cheap like Herman Ese’ese for off the bench

    As a Warriors I’d be more than happy to swap either Blake Green or Adam Keirghan for Brodie Croft. Green gives the team more of a starter but is obviously older, Cam would stay at hooker and Brandon would go back to bench. Keirghan would be more someone they groom to eventually replace Cam at halfback.

  7. The way I see it is, it sort of makes sense, and It’s definitely doable, but is it right/the best option?
    Smith can play HB, and does at times already, and he can definitely control the team. He’s a good leader on and off the field but:
    Would you pay $1.1-1.2mil for a 36 year old Cameron Smith to play HB for 1 year? I wouldn’t.

  8. Rucky, paul Gallen at least runs hard at defenders and isn’t scared to be tackled. Smith only ever runs when there is little chance he will be tackled before he can offload the ball.

  9. “Smith only ever runs when there is little chance he will be tackled before he can offload the ball”

    But isn’t that just smart play ?

    If everyone in the team unloaded the ball before being tackled we would be looking at a premiership team.

    Gallen just ran hard at defenders because he never knew what else to do. A hammer only knows how to do one thing.

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