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Brandon Smith: Getting plenty done in isolation

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy doesn’t have to worry about his Kiwi star Brandon Smith failing skin-fold tests when NRL training resumes.

Story via: AAP

Last week, the Storm would normally be preparing for their annual Anzac Day match against the Warriors, players are laying low while they await the green light for the competition’s return.

Play can’t come soon enough for Smith, who is midway through his two-week hotel quarantine stay in Melbourne after flying in from New Zealand last Saturday.

While his training is limited to within the four walls of his hotel room, Smith says he’s getting plenty done.

The Storm delivered an exercise bike plus weights and the 23-year-old said that with little else to do, he’s been training for hours each day.

“I can’t go outside so I’ve been sticking to my exercise bike,” Smith told AAP.

“I clock over about 30 or 40 kilometres a day so I’ve nearly clocked up 200 kilometres.

“I get so bored I end up jumping back on – it’s like I’m training for the Tour de France.”

Smith has also changed the hotel room service offerings, which were full of sweet treats, to make sure he’s getting enough of the right food.

But unable to graze all day, he expects to come out lighter than the 94kg nuggety frame he checked in with.

When Smith gets out of quarantine next Saturday he’s likely to only have a night or two at his Melbourne home with the Storm set to move to a border town to train unless Victoria lifts a prohibition on mass gatherings.

The New Zealand Test hooker initially planned to arrive in Melbourne a week earlier but was turned away at Auckland airport.

“I went to go back to Australia from Waiheke Island, where my girlfriend and parents are, and I was told at check-in that I didn’t have enough details,” he said.

“To make matters worse when I tried to go back home on the ferry they said I didn’t have a valid reason to go back to the island from Auckland so I was stuck in limbo.

“I ended up staying at my sister’s house for another week and then the second time they let me straight through although I had the same paperwork – it was a pretty frustrating time.”

One upside to the coronavirus shutdown for Smith has been the extra time for his fractured jaw to heal.

Smith suffered the injury in the All Stars game in February, which meant he sat out the opening two rounds before the season was halted.

“I’m going back into the footy scene feeling confident about it,” he said.

“I’m not second guessing my jaw so it’s been a blessing in disguise for me.”