The Sydney Roosters have confirmed the signing of star Melbourne Storm hooker Brandon Smith on a three-year deal from 2023.
Expansion side the Dolphins were reportedly interested in poaching the Kiwi international but the Roosters beat the new franchise to Smith’s signature.
“We’re excited to announce the signing of Brandon to a three-year arrangement and look forward to welcoming him to the club in 2023,” said the Sydney Roosters’ head of recruitment and junior player development Daniel Anderson on Friday.
Smith will play the 2022 season with the Storm after Melbourne announced they would not release him from the final year of his contract.
The cult hero courted controversy this off-season with comments on the YKTR podcast connecting him to the Roosters in 2023.
“I was just looking at the Roosters jersey as he was saying it and I had goosebumps. I was looking at it going, I want to win a premiership in that jersey,” Smith told the podcast, before releasing the following statement.
Statement from Brandon Smith. pic.twitter.com/PQBVlg7BfN
— Melbourne Storm (@storm) November 30, 2021
“One thing I pride myself on is being myself and regardless of backlash I will continue to do so. That being said I do acknowledge and want to apologise for how some of the comments have been received,” Smith said.
“It was never my intent to disrespect or come across as ungrateful to the club that has done so much for me and my family.
“And that goes for my coaches, members, staff and most of all my teammates. I speak from the heart – for better or worse sometimes – and I’m sorry if anyone was hurt by my words.”
The Auckland-born hooker has played 86 NRL games since making his debut for Melbourne in 2017. He’s also played seven Test matches for the Kiwis, and represented the Maori All Stars on two occasions.
The 2021 Dally M Hooker of the Year also helped the Storm to the 2020 premiership, as well as minor premierships in 2019 and 2021, plus an unsuccessful grand final appearance in 2018.