The weekly reality check facing Brandon Smith

Melissa Woods

Brandon Smith says the lessons learnt at Melbourne under Cameron Smith are the reason he's happy to play second fiddle to the Storm skipper.

Even if it means an anxious wait to see how many minutes he'll play each week.

Young Smith is the first-choice hooker in the New Zealand Maori side for Friday's All-Stars match in Melbourne and he's also the starting Kiwi Test rake.

He would walk into a starting role at any other NRL club but he's set for a bench role at the Storm until the end of 2020, with veteran Smith last month signing a two-year contract extension.

Brandon Smith, 22, said he'd been told by Melbourne he could expect more minutes this season as his elder started to wind down his career.

But he accepted Cameron Smith would still be top dog.

"They've said to me they want me to play a lot more hooker this year and, if I get that opportunity, I will try and take it with both hands," he said on Monday.

"But it's depends on how the game is going. If the games are tight, I don't think they're going to pull Cameron Smith off."

Cameron Smith is teaching Brandon Smith the kind of lessons he won't get anywhere else. Pic: Getty

The Maori No.9 says what Smith, the NRL's most-capped player, teaches him and the other young Storm hookers is invaluable and why he's happy to take waiting over a starting role elsewhere.

"I could be on the paddock playing hooker but the thing that Cameron does behind the scenes at training with me and the young hookers is second to none, and I don't think I'd get that at any other club and that's what is keeping me around," Smith said.

"The things he does teach us is quite phenomenal.

"You don't think of any of the stuff he shows you so that's what I'm trying to grasp on to and in, two more years, I'll be firing away."

Smith said being behind the world's best hooker made the entire situation easier to swallow.

"I know who I'm behind and that's why I'm a bit easier about it," he said.

"It's a learning curve. I'm getting to learn anything I can off the big man himself. It's good for me so I don't mind at all if I have to wait."