Why Brandon Smith may be forced into lock

Rugby league legend Brad Fittler believes the Melbourne Storm may need to shift Brandon Smith over to lock forward to fit young gun Harry Grant into the squad next season.

Grant, who’s currently on loan at the Wests Tigers, has enjoyed a breakout season playing at hooker and currently sits at number two on the Dally M Medal leaderboard.

The emergence of Grant has now put pressure on the role of NRL legend and current Storm hooker Cameron Smith.

Cameron Smith was forced to play halfback during Friday night’s match against the Roosters with Brandon Smith slotting into the hooker position. Jahrome Hughes played lock for Melbourne.

Brandon Smith (Getty)

After the Storm came out victorious against a highly-fancied Roosters outfit, rugby league great Peter Sterling questioned whether Brandon Smith would remain at hooker.

“Brandon Smith, if he is the next hooker at Melbourne, can he play the way that he has the impact out of dummy half?” Sterling said on Nine’s NRL Sunday Footy Show.

The Storm have publicly stated on numerous occasions that they intend to use Grant next season when his loan contract is up.

Assuming Grant comes back and slots in at hooker, Fittler believes Cameron Smith should remain at halfback if he elects to play next season with Brandon Smith to take up lock forward.

Harry Grant of the Wests Tigers runs the ball (Getty)

Fittler said it would be up to the likes of Hughes and Ryley Jacks to stand up and challenge their teammates for starting roles.

“He’s (Brandon Smith) played so much lock forward, it’s given the coach a really good look to say, well we have Harry Grant sitting at the Tigers,” he said.

“You all of a sudden bring Harry Grant back and then Cameron Smith can play another year but at halfback.

“Then you have Jahrome Hughes and Ryley Jacks just sitting there. One of them will have to stand up.”

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