Smith set to announce rep retirement, effective immediately


Cameron Smith is reportedly set to announce an end to his representative career for Queensland and Australia, effective immediately.

This means Smith won't play in the upcoming Origin series, leaving a hole in the No. 9 jersey for Queensland.

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

Smith said it was the "right time" to exit the representative arena.

"It's been a lengthy process for me to come to this decision", Smith said.

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

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.

A year ago the series had an effect on me more physically and mentally than ever before.

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

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

A playmaking hooker and goalkicker, Smith took over as Queensland and Australia captain in 2012 and was voted the Rugby League International Federation's player of the year.

His decision comes on the heels of similar retirements by fellow greats Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston late past year.

"Not only did they make me a better footballer and a better captain but a better person overall as well", he said.

He hopes avoiding tours and extra duties will help him attend more family events with his wife and three children while also resting more.

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

"Over the past few years, he's been at the peak of his powers, which is awesome when you consider the demands of Origin", Walters said.

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

Smith's retirement from representative rugby league leaves a big void for Queensland selectors at hooker and in the team leadership with the Origin series starting June 6.