Brandon Smith’s future is soon to be sorted as the Melbourne Storm star admitted he already knew where he was heading next.
Melbourne Storm hooker Brandon Smith has revealed he knows where he’s heading to next as the Sydney Roosters firm into unbackable favouritism to snare his signature.
Smith has been one of theand attracted plenty of attention as he reportedly sounded out most of the NRL to offer his services.
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Smith has been on a whirlwind tour,in Townsville and attracting interest from the Dolphins, Broncos and Titans after he reportedly knocked back at $2.2 million three-year deal with the Storm.
Speaking on, Smith also revealed that the Tigers, Panthers and Eels had all touched base. The to the Canterbury Bulldogs this week, while Api Koroisau future with the Panthers is uncertain.
“A few clubs have come up in the last two days to try and offer me,” Smith said. “The Tigers, the Roosters, Penrith had a little dabble because of the Api thing, the Storm obviously, the Titans and Parra just had a shot.”
However, there are set to be some disappointed clubs as Smith admitted there was just one more thing he needed to do before he announced his decision.
“The decision is made … but I’ve got to go talk to Bellsa and see what he says,” Smith said. “It is going to be pretty emotional. I don’t know what to expect from that. I’m pretty nervous actually.”
The Roosters are the team firming as the favourite to win the signature of the New Zealand rake as Smith spoke in glowing terms about the club.
He even admitted “I want to win a premiership in that jersey” when visiting the Roosters, who laid out the welcome mat.
While the Roosters don’t have the salary freedom of the likes of the Dolphins, Smith said the club offered so much more.
Smith said he had a golf day with Jared Waerea-Hargraves, Jake Friend and Mitch Aubusson followed by a lobster lunch with board member. But it was a presentation from Aubusson that swayed the 25-year-old.
“It was actually mind blowing,” Smith told YKTR Sports.
“I can’t explain it … like I went and golfed with Jared, Aubo and Friendy, and Nick Politis was ringing them. He is over in LA on a business trip at the moment and he is ringing them up just to see how they are.
“And they spoke with so much passion about the club … I think the best thing about the Roosters, bro, they are about your life, not your footy.
“Like, they want you to be set for life. They don’t want you to walk away with nothing from rugby league. They just pushed that. They can tell you how they are going to help you with life … it was just mind blowing.
“Mitchy Aubo almost made me cry. I’m not even kidding. How he spoke about the club and what they have done for him and the history of why they wear that jersey … I was just looking at the Roosters jersey as he was saying it, I had goosebumps. I was looking at it going, ‘I want to win a premiership in that jersey’.”
He added that Trent Robinson didn’t tour him around the club but instead invited him to his house and said they didn’t speak about football until the final half-hour of a five hour dinner.
“We just talked about my life and he told me about his life and bro, the thing that really gets me (is) family and his love for culture,” Smith said. “Like, Aboriginal culture, Maori culture, Samoan culture, Tongan culture. He can talk about it. He knows so much stuff about it. Reads books on all those things. And that to me is special because obviously I am a proud Maori man … for him to be like that is awesome.
“He pretty much persuaded me with his words.”
But while the decision hasn’t officially been made, Smith also said it had been an amazing experience to be chased by some of the biggest names in the game.
“It’s pretty good, but for me it’s hard to turn away from Wayne Bennett, Trent Robinson or Bellza (Craig Bellamy) and that’s what made me the happiest about this whole thing – those coaches want me,” he said. “They know their footy. They know their players. I take a lot of confidence out of that.”
Smith has been at the Storm since the beginning of his NRL career, after moving to the club from the North Queensland Cowboys — the team he played his under-20s football with.
The stocky hooker has played 86 games in his NRL career so far, as well as seven Test matches for New Zealand and two Indigenous All Stars matches for the Maori All Stars.
But after NRL GOAT Cameron Smith’s retirement, Smith has been locked in a battle for the Storm hooking role with.
Smith has quickly become one of the larrikins of the game, giving one of the all-time post-, as well as pranking Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, including and earlier this season.
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