Roosters recruit Brandon Smith opens up on ‘easy’ transition from Melbourne

Brandon Smith has opened up on his transition from the Storm to the Roosters, with the off-season recruit ready to hit the ground running in 2023.

The 26-year-old left Melbourne after over 100 first grade appearances and one premiership, signing a long-term big-money deal with the Tricolours.

Smith is one of the competition’s best hookers, but his ongoing battle with Harry Grant over the No.9 jersey at the Storm led to his move away from the club.

The Kiwi international has settled into his new surrounds in Bondi – less than a kilometre away from the beach – but admitted the pre-season training under head coach Trent Robinson has been a tough adjustment.

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“It’s been pretty easy, but training is real hard – I think when something is different, it tends to be a little bit harder,” he told the club’s website on Monday.

“I’ve settled in well, I’m living in Bondi at the moment and I’ve got a good little crew of boys. I’m pretty fortunate that I already knew half the team and spent a lot of camps with them.

“I went to Bali with Victor [Radley] and a few of the Marschke boys and my roommate. We are at the beach most arvos, had a big barbie last night with about 15 boys there… there’s a lot of mateship getting around.

“It’s been really good – I’ve come from a little island with lots of beaches and to be able to go down to the beach – I live like 600 metres away from North Bondi.

“I’m getting used to the training, a lot of long-distance stuff. I’m loving it – I get to try and get hot and sexy and fit for a job. Hopefully after another 47 more days, I will be looking good at Bondi beach with my shirt off.

“That’s not why I am getting fit, rugby league is my number one.”

Smith has established himself as one of the game’s great characters, delivering countless comedic interviews and fully taking to the ‘Hectic Cheese’ moniker in recent years. 

His inclusion in the Roosters side completes a star-studded spine, and Smith is already connecting well with his halves during the pre-season.

“With those guys – it’s a different style of play,” he said.

“I don’t want to give any secrets away, but I’m gelling with Sam [Walker] and [Luke] Keary pretty well there.

“They are pretty loud for people that are so small and short, they have got big voices.

“We have still got a long way to go before Round 1 and hopefully we can keep the connection going.”

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