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Storm star Brandom Smith.

Kevin Walters says Brisbane plan to take on local rival the Gold Coast in pursuit of Brandon Smith as a backline reshuffle pushes Corey Oates towards a permanent switch into the forwards.

Smith is the hottest property in the game after Monday's revelations that the Storm would release him for 2022 if the premiers are offered a player of similar status in return.

Walters confirmed the Broncos interest in the Kiwi star as he chases a starting No.9 role that Harry Grant is set to claim at Melbourne. understands that the Titans are the early front-runners to land Smith and have discussed potential player swaps with the Storm.

However, as was the case with Josh Addo-Carr's release talks throughout 2020, Melbourne are bullishly refusing to be short-changed in any trade and haven’t ruled out knocking back Smith's release request as they did the NSW flyer.

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Brisbane are yet to make contact with the Storm or Smith's agent.

But Walters was happy to sing Smith's praises and confirmed his interest in pursuing the 24-year-old New Zealand international on Thursday.

"Certainly we're interested in anyone of his quality," Walters said.

"He's been a great player at the Storm and he's a very young player as well, so there will be some interest from us.

"It's about what he can do on the football field. Obviously, his character is very strong and he's a very laid back sort of person.

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"But what he does on the field is very exciting watching him play. I love his attitude and the way he goes about his work on the field, he'd fit nicely in a Broncos jersey I'd have thought."

Given Grant's emergence and Cameron Smith's superlative form well into his late 30s, Brandon Smith has filled a middle forward role for the Storm in recent years.

Brisbane have numerous highly-rated young forwards that could well suit Melbourne's roster needs, though the premiers are also yet to make any definitive call on what position they are chasing to potentially replace Smith.

Irrespective of the Brandon Smith situation, the Broncos are planning to push Oates into the back-row permanently.

The 26-year-old has flirted with moving in from the wing for some time despite him making eight Queensland Origin appearances on the flank.

Walters plans for Oates to spend the majority of the pre-season, and in turn 2021, in the forwards ties in with the emergence of backline options including Xavier Coates, Herbie Farnworth and Kotoni Staggs.

The rookie Broncos coach also indicated that Kiwi international Jamayne Isaako is the fullback front-runner ahead of Tesi Niu at this stage.

"We’ve been training Corey on the edge," Walters said.

Broncos utility Corey Oates.
Broncos utility Corey Oates. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

"That’s where we feel he is best suited for us at this time.

"He’s played a lot of games for us on the wing but not a lot in the back row so it’s all about the next 10 weeks or so getting him accustomed to a different position and the different challenges that comes with it."

Alex Glenn's defensive combination alongside Anthony Milford holds him in good stead as far as Brisbane's left edge is concerned.

Oates' training has not seen him locked into a side of the field as yet, but he could well be fighting it out with Tevita Pangai jnr for David Fifita's old right edge role.

Farnsworth, meanwhile, has returned to England for the first time this year and is due back to training in January, while Isaako is gunning once more to be Darius Boyd's long-term fullback successor.

"Jamayne is certainly in the right position to make that jumper his own," Walters said.

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