Storm young gun to learn from the best
It's a name synonymous with success at the Melbourne Storm, and new recruit Brandon Smith is ready to put in the hard yards to follow in the footsteps of his namesake – and club captain – Cameron Smith.
The 20-year-old joined the Storm after two seasons for the Cowboys in the Holden Cup where he emerged as one of the most destructive dummy-halves in the competition.
The nuggety No.9 was a revelation in North Queensland in 2016 scoring 18 tries and setting up 21 more in a breakout season that saw him named in the Holden Cup Team of the Year despite plenty of stiff competition.
Having played rugby league since he was a three-year-old at the Waiheke Rams, the Junior Kiwis star is keen to knuckle down and fight his way into the Storm's star-studded NRL side.
He has already spoken to the coaching staff, and now Smith is ready to have a chat to pick the brains of the Storm, Maroons and Kangaroos captain when he returns from Four Nations duties.
"I'm loving the culture at the club and the people that I'm are around are fantastic," Smith told Storm TV.
"It's a golden opportunity for any kid playing hooker. I'm looking forward to meeting him and I'm looking forward to learning everything he's got to teach me.
"I had a one-on-one with Bellamy (Storm coach Craig Bellamy) and Frank (General Manager of Football, Frank Ponissi) a couple of weeks ago and we just laid out the platform of where we're at and where we want to be.
"In two years hopefully I'm a consistent NRL player for the Storm."
Smith isn't the only former Cowboy on the Storm's books for 2017 with Jahrome Hughes joining his fellow New Zealander in the Victorian capital.
The 22-year-old initially played SG Ball for the Roosters before moving to the Gold Coast Titans in 2012 where he played three seasons of NYC and also made his first grade debut in 2013 at fullback against the Panthers.
Hughes has spent the past two seasons at the Townsville Blackhawks and earned another shot in the NRL with the Cowboys during the State of Origin period.
The two-time Queensland Cup Team of the Year fullback said Melbourne's renowned culture lured him down south, as did the prospect of learning off some of the game's best.
"I moved down a couple of weeks ago and I'm just finding my feet, but I'm really enjoying it at the moment," he said.
"The boys and the coaching staff have been very welcoming for me and they've made it very easy for me to come down to a new club.
"There's a lot that I want to work on. They've got very good senior players around here so I think I can learn a lot off those blokes and get the best out of my footy."