Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Cameron Smith Drops Origin Bombshell By Abruptly Quitting All Rep Footy

Queensland coach Kevin Walters paid glowing tribute to Smith saying the Maroons would not be able to replace him with anyone similar Queensland coach Kevin Walters paid glowing tribute to Smith saying the Maroons would not be able to replace him with anyone similar
Shannon Reynolds | 16 May, 2018, 06:38

"Brilliant representative career over a long period of time", NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said of Smith.

Lockyer himself fostered Queensland's Origin dominance, skippering six series victories of his own for the Maroons, and played alongside Smith for Queensland and Australia between 2003 and 2011.

The 34-year-old has called time on his legendary career for Australia and Queensland, meaning he will not be available for selection in the 2018 State of Origin Series or any Kangaroos Test matches.

Smith is yet to confirm his Storm status for next year but all signs point to him re-signing for at least 2019 and unless injuries or age get in the way, he looks poised to help the Storm transition to the next generation. His 26 wins as an Origin player is the most of any player to don either Queensland or New South Wales guernseys.

"I think whenever we're under pressure in anything, life or sport, I think it's an art to stay calm under pressure. That's a big sacrifice but it's a bigger sacrifice for them". Smith said his decision to retire from rep footy effective immediately was not one taken lightly.

Smith's exit is likely to springboard Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough into a Queensland Origin debut in the June 6 series opener at the MCG, while Jake Granville of the Cowboys could be another option.

"Thanks to the fans, it has been a pleasure playing in front of you".

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With this year's Origin series looming large, the Maroons side suddenly has a good news/bad news situation on their hands.

Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk are now all retired, although Walters confirmed on Tuesday he expected to select Billy Slater at fullback for game one, making him a potential captain.

Smith's record as an Australian representative is just as formidable, captaining the Kangaroos to the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, and the 2016 Four Nations title.

He said: "That is something that I did think about when I was coming to my decision".

"By the time I was getting towards retirement, I don't think there was even a debate about it".

"There's no doubt his influence had a big impact on the results".

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