Cam Smith To Announce Retirement Effective Immediately

Cam Smith To Announce Retirement Effective Immediately

What is clear from watching and listening to Smith is that he still loves playing and still has a sound body.

"The decision is a combination of the impact that representative football had on me and my family", the 34-year-old told a press conference.

"I'm hopeful it does".

"I got a bottle of nice red (wine) out of my cupboard, cracked it open and had a couple of drinks on the phone (speaking to Smith)", Thurston said on Wednesday.

Cameron Smith announces his representative retirement, effective immediately.

Thurston retired from representative duties himself a year ago to focus on his last season with North Queensland and laughed off suggestions he could make a comeback. The good news, however, being that sending off one of, if not the, greatest ever Maroons players should provide ample motivation as the Queenslanders push into a new era.

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

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In the immediate term, Walters and the Maroons will need to appoint a new captain, find a hooker and goal kicker who can handle the pressure of State of Origin.

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

His departure follows Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk's retirements previous year from the representative level.

The Storm will be without Smith against Manly at AAMI Park on Saturday night as he serves a one-game suspension for a unsafe tackle last round.

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. Smith will continue to play at the club level for the Melbourne Storm in Australia's National Rugby League.

Roy Ward is a Sports writer for The Age.

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