With Cameron Smith’s future in the purple no clearer as the 2021 season approaches, the question of who will lead the next era of the Melbourne Storm has begun to induce a buzz around the playing group.
While the Storm will take a youthful list into the new year, the squad does possess several international and Origin representatives that will aid the club’s premiership defence.
Clive Churchill medallist Ryan Papenhuyzen said that while Smith will leave a great void in the team, several players will be able to collectively deliver their own separate leadership values to the process.
“It’s more about bringing your strengths to the table,” Papenhuyzen told melbournestorm.com.au.
When questioned on who would be the potential successor’s to take the reigns from the 420-game great, Papenhuyzen named the Bromwich brothers, Jesse and Kenneath, as two formidable candidates.
“We’ve got some really good leaders in this side and two that stand out are the Bromwich brothers,” he added.
“They’ve been here for a while now and they’re not going to lead like Cam, they’re going to lead like [themselves].
“Everyone respects them … it’s not about taking on what Cam was good at, it’s about adjusting to other leadership styles.
Papenhuyzen added that while Smith added an unparalleled passive nature to the squad, the next bracket of players will be looking to step into the same light.
“What Cam was really good at was his calmness, but I think that’s something we’ll work on in the pre-season so it becomes second nature,” he said.
“Kenny Bromwich is really calm, he strikes me as one of those sort of people.
“It’s that sort of aura and Kenny’s got that, he’s one that really stands out.”
Smith will have several avenues at his disposal when deciding on his future, with the now-vacant Maroons coaching role arising as a suitable position for the Queensland great.
There have been reports that Smith could join a Queensland club to end his illustrious NRL career, while retirement remains a likely outcome for the 37-year-old.