Wednesday , January 19 2022

Smith finally confirmed as Rooster for 2023

Brandon Smith of the Storm.

The worst-kept secret in rugby league was confirmed on Friday afternoon, as Brandon Smith was officially locked in as a Sydney Roosters player for 2023.

The Storm hooker was one of the hottest properties in the game going into the year after next, but turned his back on his current club, and a potential move to the Dolphins, to jump on board with one of the competition’s heavyweights.

“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,” Roosters recruitment head Daniel Anderson said.

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Smith and his new club’s courtship was very public, prompting questions of the current signing system, where he will now play an entire season with the Storm even though his future lies elsewhere.

Smith’s comments about joining the Roosters on a podcast were the source of outrage for many, both at the Storm and the rugby league community in general.

The Rugby League Players Association baulked at the idea of introducing a transfer period in the NRL, an issue that reared up again after Smith and several others made huge career moves more than 12 months in advance.

Already since the 2022 contract period opened on November 1, the NRL has seen Smith, Felise Kaufusi, Isaiah Papali’i, Viliame Kikau, Reed Mahoney, Marata Niukore and others sign contracts with teams that they won’t play with until 2023.

All of those players will spend next season representing their current club, while knowing they won’t be there much longer.

Smith has established himself as one of the top players at his position, winning the 2020 grand final and racking up 86 NRL games since making his NRL debut in 2017.

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