NRL News | The Mole

The Storm are all but resigned to losing Kiwi superstar Brandon Smith in 2023 – but may have found another New Zealander to replace him.

Stanley Iongi, an 18-year-old from Auckland, is rated one of the best young hooker/dummy halves in New Zealand.

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Iongi was chased by half a dozen NRL sides but has decided to sign with the Storm.

The teenager, who has been in the Warriors’ system for the last three years, will begin his apprenticeship with the Storm’s feeder team Brisbane Tigers (formerly Easts Tigers) in 2022.

Iongi represented the Kiwis at under 16 level a couple of years ago and has attracted the eye of NRL talent scouts since then, excelling in the junior grades.

He plays a similar style to Smith, with a dynamic burst of speed out of dummy half and the ability to also play lock.

Smith, meanwhile, is attracting massive offers from the likes of the Roosters, Titans and Bulldogs and is expected to make a decision on his future in coming weeks.

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