League: National captains are Melbourne Storm teammates

Melbourne Storm teammates Cameron Smith (left) and Jesse Bromwich, seen here celebrating a try, will lead their respective nations in tonight's ANZAC test in Newcastle. Photo / Getty Images
Melbourne Storm teammates Cameron Smith (left) and Jesse Bromwich, seen here celebrating a try, will lead their respective nations in tonight's ANZAC test in Newcastle. Photo / Getty Images

A measure of the level of respect Jesse Bromwich commands at the Melbourne Storm came just minutes after their win over Gold Coast last weekend.

Out on their feet in the Storm dressing room after running in 38 unanswered points against the Titans, tired players suddenly found a second wind when news broke that Bromwich had been made captain of the Kiwi Test team.

Leading the spontaneous celebrations among teammates with arms raised and fists pumping was the man Bromwich will oppose in Friday's Anzac Test at Hunter Stadium, Storm and Kangaroos skipper Cameron Smith.

Smith has had a better vantage point than anyone to witness how Bromwich has develop from a promising teenage forward eight years ago when he first arrived at Melbourne into one of the game's premier frontrowers.

And while they will be professional enemies for 80 minutes on Friday night, there is no hiding the mutual respect between the pair.

"All the boys were very, very pleased for him," Smith said of Bromwich's appointment.
"To see him join our club in Melbourne as a young man, a 19-year-old I think he was, and to where he has come now in a short space of time, it's a credit to him.

"He's just going to go from strength to strength. You've seen over the past few years how much he has improved as a player on the field.

"He's played a few years in first grade and was happy to do his job but I think he realises now his capabilities and what he can actually do with a body his size.

For his part, Bromwich says actions will speak louder than words when it comes to his captaincy style.

"I've learnt a lot off Smithy but I'm my own man and I'll be looking at being myself and leading through my actions," he said.

Asked what his message would be to teammates before the Kiwis look to make it four Tests victories in a row against the Kangaroos, Bromwich said:

"It will be about protecting what Steve (Kearney) and the rest of the boys have built over the past two years. It will be along those lines. It's a big, important match for us and I'll be looking to lead from the front."

As for the prospect of Bromwich stealing any of Smith's captaincy methods, Kiwi coach Stephen Kearney couldn't resist having a little dig at the Aussie skipper.

"Gee, the ref will be in trouble," he quipped.

- news.com.au

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