Under-fire NRL star Brandon Smith has returned to Melbourne after what turned out to be a controversial off-season.
Smith had a stellar season with the Storm, earning first crack at the club’s No.9 position and subsequently being named the NRL’s Hooker of the Year, having helped his club win 19 straight games.
But it was after Melbourne was bundled out of the premiership race that Smith’s reputation took a hit.
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He was one of three Storm players penalised for being caught on video in a room where there was a white substance on a table.
Weeks later, the 25-year-old was busted meeting with rival NRL clubs – the Titans and the Dolphins – while on holiday in southern Queensland.
Brandon Smith angers Storm with podcast
Smith then also met with the Roosters in Sydney. It was after that tour that he went on a podcast, and made comments which infuriated the Storm.
Smith claimed there was a heavy drinking culture at the club, which has since been slammed by Storm CEO Justin Rodski, coach Craig Bellamy, and football boss Frank Ponissi.
The club also announced Smith will leave the Storm once his contract expires at the end of next season. He’s expected to sign with the Roosters.
Today, he returned to AAMI Park to what was no doubt a frosty reception.
Smith was asked by 9News if he had met with Bellamy yet.
“Yeah mate, gave him a big cuddle. He’s sweet,” Smith replied with a grin.
He was asked if he regretted how his off-season had transpired, to which he replied; “I just regret how it happened, how it came out”.
Bellamy was not in a mood to chat to 9News as he entered the facility.
As it stands, Smith will play the 2022 season with the Storm, but that may change if a rival NRL club makes a play to sign him immediately.
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