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vegassports-odds.com May 23, 2018


Cam Smith calls time on rep career

16 May 2018, 06:42 | Joan Schultz

Smith made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon

Smith made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon

And Smith has revealed that he would like to continue playing for Melbourne Storm for a couple of more years.

"It's a decision that I did take a lot of time to come to but in the end the reasons for not playing on far outweighed reasons to play on this year".

"I probably started having thoughts about finishing up my representative career past year".

It's less than two weeks to go before the Queensland and NSW squads are announced for Game 1 of the 2018 State of Origin series on June 6.

"Right now, this year is the right time to finish up".

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Smith said the decision stemmed from his struggle to back up after Origin games past year, saying that he felt the physical and mental strain.

"Looking back at it now I don't think that's fair on myself, I don't think that's fair on my family and also my teammates back at Melbourne Storm".

In that period he has missed just one game - the series opener in 2010 due to injury - and won a record 26 matches.

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Smith also led Australia to wins in the 2013 and 2017 Rugby League World Cups, having played 56 Tests for the Kangaroos.

He has made 42 appearances for Queensland Maroons in the State of Origin, winning 11 series.

Smith's retirement does strip the Maroons of their captain, goal kicker and most experienced leader but he hopes it will give him the best chance to extend his NRL career for as long as possible.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters paid glowing tribute to Smith, saying the Maroons would not be able to replace him with anyone similar.

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.

"I thought his performance in game three of past year was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level and at age 34 that speaks volumes", said Walters.

Smith's decision is likely to springboard Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough into contention for a Queensland debut, while Jake Granville of the Cowboys could be another option.



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