Melbourne Storm hooker Harry Grant officially requests release to join Wests Tigers


Brandon Smith, the back-up rake to first-choice hooker Cameron Smith, is expected to miss the start of the season with a facial fracture. The Kiwi international suffered the injury during his man-of-the-match performance in Saturday’s All Stars game and is likely to be sidelined for four to six weeks.

The Storm have yet to come back to Grant with a definitive call, but there is little chance he will be let go while Brandon Smith is unavailable.

Melbourne’s Harry Grant has requested a release from the Storm.Credit:AAP

Melbourne will need to tread carefully with Grant given his delicate contract situation. The 22-year-old is signed with the Victorian outfit until the end of 2022, although he has a get-out clause that he can activate if Cameron Smith opts to play on next year. The situation will place pressure on the former Queensland and Australian captain to make an early call or the club will risk losing his likely replacement.

Grant is frustrated that the presence of Cameron and Brandon Smith has limited him to just two NRL appearances. The Rockhampton product is considered one of the best young dummy halves and was hoping to join the Tigers to develop his game while unable to consistently crack the Storm side.

“For my development, I believe the next step for me is to play NRL and unfortunately I won’t get too many games at Melbourne,” Grant told the Herald last week. “I’m hoping for [a release]. As selfless as it would be for the club, long-term it would benefit the club.

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“I’m open to it, the Tigers are open to it but whether the Storm is, I’d have to sit down and have a chat with [coach] Craig Bellamy and [CEO] Dave [Donaghy]. I don’t know how it works, if I go now they might have to sign a new player and be in the same boat (with the salary cap).

“What I need now development-wise is to play footy at a higher level at NRL. I might have to chase that elsewhere and the Tigers is a good opportunity for both parties.”

If the Storm block Grant’s request, Walters is the favourite to get first crack at wearing the No.9 jersey vacated by Robbie Farah. The presence of Moses Mbye and Josh Reynolds – the latter free to play after police dropped domestic violence charges against him – will give coach Michael Maguire some depth in the position.



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