NRL Rd 20 - Dragons v Storm
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Brandon Smith of the Storm passes during the round 20 NRL match between the St George Illawarra Dragons and the Melbourne Storm at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Storm Hooker Brandon Smith has lifted the lid on his request to assess his options away from Melbourne in a conversation with Craig Bellamy, as well as wanting ti fight for the No.9 jumper in 2021.

Smith was a pivotal asset for the Storm’s premiership success when coming off the bench and placed into numerous positions, with the New Zealand international having his sights set on the hooker jumper in a battle with Harry Grant.

Grant flourished on his loan spell at Wests Tigers and on his Origin debut for Queensland, sky-rocketing into favouritism to succeed veteran Cameron Smith, while Brandon Smith remains a strong chance to prove his worth this year.

Smith requested approval from the Storm to be able to explore his options for the 2022 season, with several clubs immediately expressing interest of their own.

Speaking to Fox SportsSmith revealed Bellamy was accepting of Smith’s request and wouldn’t be handing out the starting hooker role based on reputation.

“It wasn’t a hard conversation. I just said how I felt and he respected my decision,” Smith said.

“Me and him didn’t see the point in me getting a release this year when that spot’s still up for grabs. He said that he’s not just going to give the number nine spot to Harry, or give it to me, we’ve both got to go out there and take it.”

“Stuff like that with Craig, it’s not so much a hard thing to talk to him about.

“He’s one of those coaches you can have hard conversations with and not worry about he’s going to do. He’s never going to yell at you, that’s not what Craig’s about.

“That’s why we respect him and he respects us.”

While Smith will have plenty to prove in order to surpass Grant, the 24-year-old is excited by the thought that the pair can play alongside one-another.

“I’m fine with sharing the field with Harry because we can do some great things on the field together – we’re the dynamic duo, that’s what we call each other,” Smith said.

“Both of us are great players.

“We’ve got a great relationship. We are fighting for the same position but he’s such a good kid and he’s so talented.

“It’s good, we’ve been able to feed off each other and learn off each other, and now being able to compete against each other at training, it’s only a positive for us.

“It’s something that we both want to do (play hooker) but time will tell, everyone will see who the hooker is by round one.

“I’m looking forward to thriving in whichever situation I get put in.

“I want to play number nine.

“I’ve found myself becoming accustomed to the 13 jersey, which isn’t a bad thing, the versatility is great, but that’s not what I want to play.

“If I can’t be a nine at this club, I’d love to play nine elsewhere.

1 COMMENT

  1. If Brandon Smith seriously thinks he’s a chance in hell (and Bellamy lets him believe that) of being starting hooker ahead of Harry Grant in the next 10 years (unless Grant loses a leg) then he’s gullible and dumb sorry and if he’s that stupid I’m unsure actually if the Dogs should pursue him. The Bulldogs need an intelligent hooker more like Grant who can read and outsmart the opposition defence and follow a game plan. Hooker isn’t just about “effort”. Bellamy is just leading him on to keep him at the Storm as long as possible so he (Bellamy) looks good right up until the end of his time at the Storm.

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