Cameron Smith makes shock Queensland and Australia representative retirement

Cameron Smith makes shock Queensland and Australia representative retirement

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

The 34-year-old officially announced his representative retirement at a media conference in Melbourne this afternoon.

The rugby league-loving community have shared numerous tributes to Cameron Smith following news of his retirement from representative football.

'I thought his performance in game 3 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, the most-capped Maroon of all time, leaves a giant void in the Maroons side at hooker; a position he's had locked down in the Queensland side since 2003.

"I think if you remember back in 2017 I couldn't quite manage to back up after any of those matches, which is something I've done every other year that I've played, and maybe that was a sign to me right then that maybe it was time to finish my representative career, because I'm very proud of my ability to back up after Origin games and make myself available for my club".

"I'd like to think it will give me the opportunity to play on in our domestic competition if it is the right thing for my family and the Melbourne Storm as well".

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The physical and mental toll of Origin, as well as a desire to spend more time with his family were behind his decision, while Smith said he hoped it would extend his NRL career with the Storm.

He also played 56 Tests for the Kangaroos and captained the team to World Cup titles in 2013 and 2017.

His exit coincides with the representative retirements of Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, which were announced a year ago.

"I just didn't get the same vibe that I've had over the last couple of years with him, with his enthusiasm and drive", Walters said.

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.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters joked he would have liked Smith to play on in "30-minute spells".

"... I know he's been a great player, but most importantly a person for the game more than anything else".

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