Sports

Cam Smith calls time on rep career

Cam Smith calls time on rep career

Cameron Smith announced his retirement from representative rugby league effective immediately, ending a glittering career for Australia and Queensland.

"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.

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".

"I probably started having small thoughts about finishing up my representative career a year ago".

Smith has made a record 42 Origin appearances, and has a record 26 Origin wins.

"From a personal point of view I would have loved to have played on for a lot longer but unfortunately we don't live in a flawless world and those things don't happen", Smith said.

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"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".

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

Billy Slater will captain Melbourne Storm for the first time in his career when the NRL champions host Manly on Saturday night.

Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough appears Smith's likely replacement at hooker while the kicking stocks look a little bare, perhaps forcing Cameron Munster or Josh McGuire to do the goal kicking for the Maroons.

He also paid tribute to his wife Barbara and his children.

"Respect, humility, all those things you like to see in people he shows that in every day of his life."

"I thought his performance in Game III of past year was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level and at age 34 that speaks volumes", he said. Brandon Smith, utility Joe Stimson and youngster Harry Grant are likely in the running to fill Smith's shoes.