MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Brandon Smith of the Storm celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the round eight NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks at AAMI Park on April 30, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The future location of Melbourne Storm hooker and lock Brandon Smith is a topic which simply refuses to go away, with discussions continuing.

Smith has been involved in a dramatic and damaging one-two punch for the Storm this season at hooker alongside Harry Grant.

The Kiwi-born rake has been starting a hooker over the second half of the season, before moving to lock once the Queensland-born Grant comes onto the field.

Grant told Channel Nine earlier this week that he'd be happy to continue playing off the bench for the foreseeable future if it meant Smith would stay at the club.

Smith is contracted with the Storm until the end of 2022, but it would appear even if he is afforded the starting hooker role that the Victorian club will have a struggle to keep Smith, with clubs lining up around the block to sign him up.

There has also been talk he could move for 2022, however, Storm general manager of football Frank Ponissi has told SEN Radio that it won't be happening.

“He got a bit frustrated during the season because there was a lot of speculation that he was going to this club and that club,” Ponissi said.

“From day dot he had no intention to leave. He’s got one more year to go and I think his intention is to stay.\

“What he has made quite clear is he is incredibly focused on winning the premiership this year and I think he’s made that clear.

"He doesn’t even want to talk about next year.

“I think he gets a little bit frustrated when other people are talking about his future because he hasn’t."

BRANDON SMITH
Hooker
Storm
2021 SEASON AVG
26.7
Tackles Made
0.5
Tries
0.6
LB Assists

While the Storm's prospects of getting Smith to agree to a new contract beyond 2022 have been described as bleak, the general manager wasn't ready to give up yet.

Smith is widely regarded as one of the best players in the competition, and while telling Channel 9 earlier in the week he loved the club, he acknowledged the sport is a business.

Ponissi told SEN though that Melbourne would be having serious discussions with Smith about his future in November and December, and was confident he would stay.

“He’ll have his down time after the season and then come November and December we’ll get a little bit more serious talking about his future.

“I think he’ll stay. He’s a big part of our club both on and off the field and we certainly hope he stays and we’re confident that he will.”

Smith is free to negotiate with other clubs from November 1.