Played really well in the jnr kiwis test was the standout with Ata in my eyes in that game.
If this eventuates as planned he will become the key playmaker for the kiwis for years to come.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, Morons 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."
Out of all the young Kiwi hookers coming up in the NRL, Smith could be the best of the lot, training and playing alongside Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk as well as being coached by Craig Bellamy, he is going to be something special in a few years.
If this eventuates as planned he will become the key playmaker for the kiwis for years to come.
Lets be honest, Isaac isnt a great distributor nor a great thinking hooker, for brandon to work day in and day out with cam smith would be like steve young backing up joe montana with bill walsh (bellamy equivalent) teaching him the system. Could be the best kiwis investment ever without paying a single cent of it.Agreed he already has a fantastic running game. Being around Bellamy and Smith he will develop other parts of his game. It will be nice to have a hooker who is strong in all areas.
Will be one of the best props in the game in 6 or so years. Him, JJ Felise, Taniela Paseka and Junior Tatola will be such a dominant four prop rotation for the tigers in the future, and Woods is still relatively young for his experience if they can hold on to him.Thomas Mikaele has signed with West Tigers to play Holden Cup in 2017. Signed from Keebra Park high school, was born in Auckland.
Wonder why the Warriors didnt snap him up? No doubt they would have been aware of him being Nathaniel's brother and in the same rugby team Isaiah Papalii was in...Raiders snare Junior All Black
THE Raiders have scored a coup by signing one of the best young five-eighths in New Zealand rugby union – and rushed him straight into their Nines squad next weekend.
Paul Roache, an 18-year-old Junior All Black, was signed by the Raiders recruitment guru Peter Mulholland recently and Canberra fans will have an immediate opportunity to see him in action.
The teenager has been named in the Raiders’ team for next weekend’s Auckland Nines and Ricky Stuart and his coaching staff are keen to see how he goes in top company.
The exciting rookie is the younger brother of Warriors utility Nathaniel Roache and is a product of renowned Auckland football nursery Mount Albert Grammar School.
I agree. We do have a ridiculously large number of junior halves signed up though, Ata Hingano, Erin Clark, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Dylan Tavita, Dakohta Taimani (St Kents) and Eiden Ackland. And if you've seen him play, you'll know he's probably too small to play centre at the higher levels, when he played 2nd 5 for MAGS he was more of a pocket rocket type player and always played 1st 5 in the big games.
Ata Hingano has huge wraps on him. The club have invested a lot in his development. IMO the next best junior is definitely Chanel. Won NZ U18 Player of the Year and is another one that has huge wraps on him. I like Eidan. Has the vision, time and guts but is tiny as hell. Will have to work hard to bulk up cause he wont last long past age group if he doesnt...I agree. We do have a ridiculously large number of junior halves signed up though, Ata Hingano, Erin Clark, Chanel Harris-Tavita, Dylan Tavita, Dakohta Taimani (St Kents) and Eiden Ackland. And if you've seen him play, you'll know he's probably too small to play centre at the higher levels, when he played 2nd 5 for MAGS he was more of a pocket rocket type player and always played 1st 5 in the big games.
Chanel is definitely flying under the radar a bit. I think the club has massive hopes for him. He had a hugely impressive U20 season, but it didn't get much attention because of how poorly the side did. Just 17 years old and already doing preseason training with first grade. I don't think it will be too long before we're putting Chanel in the same conversation as Ata Hingano in terms of potential.Ata Hingano has huge wraps on him. The club have invested a lot in his development. IMO the next best junior is definitely Chanel. Won NZ U18 Player of the Year and is another one that has huge wraps on him. I like Eidan. Has the vision, time and guts but is tiny as hell. Will have to work hard to bulk up cause he wont last long past age group if he doesnt...