Storm star Brandon Smith first spoke after revealing Melbourne allowed him to explore opportunities with rival clubs.
Smith, who is under contract with The Storm until the end of the 2022 season, was given permission to look elsewhere in a bid to land a starting hooker role after being Cameron Smith’s understudy for the past few seasons.
It is understood that Storm will grant Smith a release if the club receives a suitable replacement through a player swap.
With young star Harry Grant, who was crowned Rookie of the Year 2020, returning from his one-year loan at Wests Tigers, and without any official word on Cameron Smith retiring, the Kiwi international will continue. likely to leave the bench in a forward locking role.
Speaking for the first time about his request for release, Smith said his dream has always been to play in the No.9 shirt.
“I want to play No. 9,” Smith said.
“I got used to the 13 shirt, which is not a bad thing. The versatility is great, but that’s not what I want to play.
“If I can’t get a nine at this club, I would like to play a nine elsewhere.
“I want to be a No 9 long term and I want to represent my country at No 9 and I want to do big things in the game like Cameron Smith did in the hooker zone.”
Although he is happy to hand hooker responsibilities to the Queensland Rugby League, Smith admits he has struggled to play two different positions which usually require their own physical demands.
“Adapting to role 13 too … my body, I can’t be skinny 13 and not protect myself.” I have to put on weight to play 13. It’s the kind of thing that hinders my ability to be a nine, ”Smith said.
“It’s fine with me while Cameron Smith is there because he deserves that nine-year-old spot. He’s the best No 9 and remains the best No 9 to date. But I think it’s the best opportunity to fight for this No. 9 spot.
“I got down to 93 (kilograms) playing 13 a few seasons ago and it wasn’t great. I felt fast but felt like I was getting thrown a little more than usual. usually plays around 97-98 pounds.
“But if I had to be a new one, for example, I’d be around 92 kilos. That’s a big difference in weight. I’m playing nine against Parramatta at (98 kilos), which isn’t ideal but you manage. “
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Smith also opened up about his conversation with coach Craig Bellamy, and despite what some people might think, the 24-year-old revealed that the meeting the pair had was not “difficult” to go through.
“Stuff like that with Craig – it’s not hard to talk to him,” Smith said.
“He’s a trainer who you can have difficult conversations with without worrying about what he’s going to do. He’ll never yell at you (in this scenario).
“That’s just not Craig’s topic. It wasn’t exactly a difficult conversation, I just said how I felt and he respected my decision.
“But at the same time, his job is to put the best team that will win him a post of Prime Minister. We have not seen the usefulness for me to obtain a release this year while this place is still to be won. .
“He said he wasn’t just going to give Harry the # 9 shirt or give it to me.” We both have to go over there and take it.
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