Craig Bellamy has rubbished claims that the Melbourne Storm plan to shift Cameron Smith to halfback in 2020. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour
Craig Bellamy has rubbished claims that the Melbourne Storm plan to shift Cameron Smith to halfback in 2020. Picture: AAP Image/Scott Barbour

Bellamy laughs off Smith switch claims

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has laughed off claims Cameron Smith is being primed for a radical move to halfback.

Responding to speculation about a bombshell switch, Bellamy said Smith is "too valuable" at dummy half to be "mucking around" with the Storm line-up.

"I'm not quite sure how that got out there," Bellamy told the Herald Sun.

"I can't ever see him moving to halfback full-time, we might play him there on occasion and have spoken about that over the years, but I'd be very, very, very surprised if he ended up playing halfback full-time."

A separate Storm insider said he nearly "fell off my chair" Tuesday reading about the mooted role change.

Smith has been used as a receiver in the past - including last season - in certain attacking situations, largely dependent on field position.

 

 

The record 411-game champion's guile and craft, by hand and foot and especially close to the tryline, often makes opposition players nervous and creates holes in defensive lines.

"I can't see us playing Cameron Smith (for) 80 minutes at halfback," Bellamy said.

"Part of the game, we might be, (but) he's too valuable at dummy half to be mucking around with that too much."

Master coach Bellamy rejigged the Storm spine just before finals last season to get fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen in the starting line-up.

The 11th-hour switch left playmaker Brodie Croft on the outer, with Jahrome Hughes moving to halfback.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy keeps a close watch on Cameron Smith during President’s Cup celebrity golf day. Picture: Michael Klein
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy keeps a close watch on Cameron Smith during President’s Cup celebrity golf day. Picture: Michael Klein

 

Bellamy has rubbished speculation he attended a secret meeting last week with Smith and club "powerbrokers" to discuss the captain's halfback regeneration.

"I wasn't there and there was no telephone conference," Bellamy said.

"I can safely say that's not true."

Bellamy confirmed his first face-to-face meeting with Smith the past two weeks was at Royal Melbourne Golf Club last Monday, as part of a President's Cup celebrity tournament.

Bellamy was in Queensland and New South Wales previously, spending time with family.

"I haven't had a meeting with Cameron and the powerbrokers or (any) hierarchy," Bellamy said.

"If we're going to play Cameron at halfback I'm sure we're (going to be) talking to the leaders and the coaches about that, not so much the powerbrokers."

 

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