Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Brandon Smith will join the Sydney Roosters in 2023 after cementing himself as one of the best hookers in Rugby League at the Melbourne Storm.
In 2017 Smith made his NRL debut for the Storm and the following season became a regular first-grade bench player.
During his early years at the Storm Smith was the understudy to former Australian captain and likely future immortal Cameron Smith who helped him develop his game.
Smith found success early on in his career being selected to represent New Zealand for the first time in 2018.
The 2021 Dally M Hooker of the Year has become a fan favourite in Melbourne but with the rapid rise of Harry Grant Smith was forced to make the decision that was best for his interests and seek pastures new.
One of the hardest parts about saying goodbye for Smith will undoubtedly be parting ways with his coach and mentor Craig Bellamy who he has such a strong bond with despite reports emerging last week that suggested otherwise.
Smith was quick to refute these claims.
“Seeing that article last week…It was bull****,” said Smith.
“To say something like that about our personal relationship…it could not have been further from the truth.
“It was tough to read because we’ve always had a special bond.
“Bellsa doesn’t mind having the odd larrikin around the club. He’s got Munster too and I think he enjoys it.
“People think he’s this angry guy from what you see on TV. He’s actually the opposite. There’s a very soft side to him.
“I’ve spent nearly every day with him for six years. I’d do anything for him.
Smith officially played his last game under Bellamy in the first week of the 2022 NRL finals series where the Storm were eliminated by the Canberra Raiders and the 26-year-old was visibly quite emotional.
Now that his NRL season is over Smith will be preparing to travel to England in less than a month to represent New Zealand at the Rugby League World Cup where the Kiwis will take on Lebanon in Warrington to get their tournament underway on the 16th of October.