OLD MATE: Ben Hampton will put friendships aside for the grand final.
OLD MATE: Ben Hampton will put friendships aside for the grand final. Evan Morgan

Mateship put on hold for NRL grand final decider

AT Melbourne Storm, Ben Hampton and Jordan McLean were inseparable.

Flatmates for years Cowboys utility Hampton joked that McLean, who will join the Cowboys next year, was "the dad of the house".

Their bromance will be put aside for 80 minutes on Sunday when they square off for a premiership.

"We're really good mate and it's going to be funny coming up against him," Hampton said.

"He was pretty clean and made sure everything was running smoothly in the house. He was probably the dad of the house actually."

The duo roomed with a few current Storm players over the years, including Storm forward Slade Griffin.

"We had a couple come and go over the years, we lived together for a long time," Hampton said after Saturday's preliminary final

"Slade was a bit of a clean freak and loved his Playstation 4.

"I think it will be (a bit weird playing the Storm). I'll enjoy the win now and wake up tomorrow, and realise I am going to be playing the old club.

"But that's alright, I'm a Cowboy now and I'm all good with it."

Hampton is one of two former Storm players at the Cowboys, with centre Justin O'Neill a member of Melbourne's 2012 premiership-winning side.

Hampton played hooker and halves at Melbourne and has witnessed the genius of Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater firsthand.

He is unsure if his inside knowledge could help break down by far the most dominant team this year.

"I'll definitely help where I can and do everything I can to win," Hampton said.

"Greeny (coach Paul Green) and the coaching staff are very thorough and have their own way of doing things.

"They'll have a game plan ready to go and if they want me to ask anything, I want to win as much as anyone else.

"I'll be doing all I can."

Hampton said McLean, who will begin a three-year deal in Townsville next year, will make the Cowboys pack even more formidable.

McLean, rated a NSW Origin player of the future, was earmarked as a quality replacement for James Tamou after he joined Penrith this year.

"He asked me a lot of questions about it at first, but we'll love it up here and he's playing really good footy and he'll add a lot to our team."