NRL Rd 1 - Dolphins v Roosters
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 05: Brandon Smith of the Roosters in action during the round one NRL match between the Dolphins and Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on March 05, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The NRL have confirmed that the integrity unit will launch an investigation into a claim that Brandon Smith was offered an illegal under the table payment outside of the salary cap while he was negotiating his next contract last year.

Smith, who came off-contract at the end of 2022, was pursued by plenty of clubs around the NRL ahead of the 2023 before eventually deciding to link up with the Sydney Roosters.

At one stage, it was reported that up to half the NRL were chasing Smith.

It was believed he would sign with the Dolphins, only to switch on that deal to link with the Roosters following controversial comments on the YKTR Sport podcast around his desire to sign with the Roosters despite having a year so play with the Storm.

While there is no suggestion of which club made the offer of an illegal payment to Smith by either Zero Tackle or his agent Stan Martin who made the comment last week originally, ARLC Chairman Peter V'Landys has told News Corp that Martin should provide all evidence available with the integrity unit to launch an investigation.

“We won't tolerate salary-cap cheating,” V'landys told Sport Confidential.

“If Brandon Smith's manager has some information, I encourage him to make that information available to the NRL integrity unit.”

V'Landys said the NRL would "immediately take action" against any club who had offered an illegal payment in an attempt to sign Smith, who was one of the hottest free agents on the market.

“It's a serious allegation,” he said of Martin's revelation.

“If he has evidence of some club trying to cheat the system, he should immediately hand it to the integrity unit for them to investigate.

“If he can provide some evidence, we will certainly be taking action, no fear or favour.”

It's believed one of the key reasons Smith ultimately left Melbourne was his desire to become a permanent first-choice dummy half, however, that is off to a rocky start at Bondi.

In two games, the Roosters have struggled with Smith on the field, with the club ultimately finding themselves with a one and one record, and their attack looking disjointed.

Smith will line up with the Roosters against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Round 3 on Friday night.


  1. the roosters have struggled with smith on the field? geez the media talk some bs sometimes. the bloke is injured and only managed 26 mins last game. he’ll come good.