Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Social media’s rumour mill went wild yesterday afternoon after an image emerged of Brandon Smith meeting with officials from the Gold Coast Titans.
There are already reports that the Titans have offered Smith a $1 million deal and that they are the favourites for the New Zealand International’s signature.
In response to these reports and the revelation of this image, Titans CEO Steve Mitchell has spoken out publicly about the club’s interest in Smith when talking to 4BC’s Wide World of Sports Radio.
“We would love to have Brandon Smith playing for our team … he’s a sensational player,” said Mitchell.
“One of our mandates is energy and effort and he brings a lot of that.
“But we’re standing in line, there are half a dozen [clubs] that feel the same way about him.
— Courier Mail Sport (@cmail_sport) November 9, 2021
“He picked up the Dally M [Hooker of the Year] for his position, quite rightly.
“He’s a fierce competitor and a formidable force … we’re one of a number of clubs who would like his services, that’s for sure.”
Based on Mitchell’s statement it seems that while Brandon Smith did indeed meet with the Titans, the two parties may still be yet to agree to contract terms.
The Storm also did confirm at the end of 2020 that Smith would not be re-signing with the four-time premiership winners. At the time he risked losing his role as starting hooker to Queensland State of Origin representative Harry Grant, but has since gone on to keep his position with Grant coming off the bench, leading to rumours for a while that he would backflip on his previous stance and opt to re-sign with the Storm.
As things stand for the Titans, their hooker for season 2022 will be Erin Clark.
Someone who to this point has been a squad rotation player for the club and has not consistently been given the chance to start in the nine.
For a while now, many people have believed that the biggest issue at the Titans is the lack of a star hooker, so it’s time for Erin Clark to step up or he may be replaced by one of the game’s best in Brandon Smith in 2023.