Melbourne NRL star Brandon Smith has reportedly confirmed he’ll be playing for the Sydney Roosters in 2023 after admitting he wanted to “win a premiership in their jersey”’ during an interview on Sunday.
News Corp reports the champion hooker informed other interested clubs of his decision on Monday morning.
Smith ruffled some feathers over the weekend with comments about his admiration for the Roosters.
As you can see in the video above, he said he was blown away by the Roosters powerbrokers, coach Trent Robinson and club games record-holder Mitch Aubusson.
But he was particularly taken by the Roosters after being invited to Robinson’s house and making pizza with his French wife and family.
“The thing that really gets me is his love for culture – like, Aboriginal culture, Maori culture, Samoan culture, Tongan culture,” Smith told YKTR Sports.
“He can talk about it. He knows so much stuff about it. Reads books on all those things. And that to me is special because obviously I am a proud Maori man … for him to be like that is awesome.
“He pretty much persuaded me with his words.”
Smith played golf with Kiwi Test teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and former Rooster stars Aubusson and Jake Friend and lunched with heavy-hitter Mark Bouris.
“Mitchy Aubo almost made me cry,” Smith said.
“How he spoke about the club and what they’ve done for him and the history of why they wear that jersey and why we play the way we do.
“Back in the ‘20s, Bondi wasn’t what we see today. That’s what he was talking about. It pretty much wanted to make you cry.
“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’.”
The 25-year-old has been courted by newcomers The Dolphins, Gold Coast and Penrith, Wests Tigers and Parramatta have also shown interest.
He said he felt the Roosters were well positioned to set players up for life post-NRL.
“They want you to be set for life – they don’t want you to walk away with nothing from rugby league.
“They just pushed that. They can tell you how they are going to help you with life … it was just mind blowing.”