Bromwich puts tempest behind to focus on Storm
Melbourne Storm prop Jesse Bromwich has credited his teammates and his family's support for helping him return to normality following an off-field incident that took place in Canberra just hours after New Zealand's Anzac Test loss to the Kangaroos in May.
The then Kiwis skipper - who admitted to consuming an excessive amount of alcohol that night - was caught with former Storm teammate Kevin Proctor allegedly with an illegal substance in the nation's capital the morning after New Zealand's 30-12 loss to Australia.
It was a headline few could believe given Bromwich's cleanskin record, but one that couldn't go unpunished.
The 28-year-old was stood down for two NRL games, asked to donate his Test match fee to charity, stood aside from the Storm's leadership group and told he wouldn't be considered for the Kiwis' 2017Rugby League World Cup campaign.
It was a bitter blow for the man many consider the heir apparent to Storm skipper Cameron Smith, and also sent a strong message about the culture coach David Kidwell is trying to instil in New Zealand.
Bromwich - a three-time Storm Player of the Year - served his two-match ban and has made a successful return to the NRL with Melbourne enjoying wins over the Knights and Sharks with him in the side.
His time away from the game caused mental anguish – not only on a personal level but for those around him – however the support from his family and teammates has help to lighten what has been a difficult few weeks.
"My goal at the moment is to start playing my best footy for the rest of the year."
A respected figure around the club, Bromwich was quick to explain his actions to the playing group who were rightfully disappointed by his actions but have since moved on.
"I wouldn't say 'from the get-go' but they've been welcoming since they've gotten over everything. They've been really good to me and my family so I can't thank the club and the boys enough," Bromwich told NRL.com.
"I had a good chat with the boys and I just said my piece and said what I needed to say. The boys didn't really say much that day; they just sat on it for a while. I went away and had a few days away with the family and came back and got stuck into training.
"It hasn't been spoken about since I came back. No one's brought it up so it's been really good.
"It's been a pretty tough time for me and my family so to come in and start playing a bit of footy feels like normal again.
"It's just good to be back and having the boys treating me normal. What's in the past has happened, but the boys are treating me well.
"I wanted to get back in there and repay the boys for what I'd done.
"I don't think you can earn respect through words only. It has to be through actions so it's been about working hard at training, doing the right things on and off the field and playing good footy."
 Telstra Premiership: Jesse Bromwich
All Run Metres, Tackle Breaks, Offloads, Tackles.
The Canberra incident was a wake-up call for the proud family man who realised his actions affected his wife, children, parents and his brother Kenny, who also plays for the Storm.
"What I've learnt over this period is what's most important to me and that's obviously my family. They've been through everything with me," he said.
"Through the tough times they were there and my wife and parents did it quite hard. Kenny did it quite hard as well so it was hard for me to see how I'd hurt the ones nearest to me by doing stupid things to myself.
"I guess for me it's realising that my actions don't just impact me; they also affect my family and the club."
This was meant to be a huge year for Bromwich who was on track to lead his country at the World Cup later this year.
Instead, his focus is now solely on helping the Storm avenge last year's grand final loss; although he didn't rule out playing a part in New Zealand's campaign should he be asked to come into camp.
"I haven't heard anything from New Zealand Rugby League," he revealed.
"At the moment I'm just going to step back and let them do their thing. I'm obviously here if they need anything. I'm not holding a grudge against anyone – I'm just disappointed in myself – so I'm happy to help if they need me.
"My goals at the moment are to start playing my best footy for the rest of the year. I've only got to the end of the season to focus on – my focus has shortened now – so I only have to focus on the Melbourne Storm for the rest of the year.
"I'm going to put everything I've got into that."