Cameron Smith retires from representative rugby league

Cameron Smith retires from representative rugby league

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

Smith said those weekends, when unable to play for Melbourne, he was lying on the couch at home exhausted physically and mentally, and he believed few realised the toll playing at that level took.

The 34-year-old has called time on his legendary career for Australia and Queensland, meaning he will not be available for selection in the 2018 State of Origin Series or any Kangaroos Test matches.

"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".

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.

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

Smith skippered Queensland 21 times and Australia 33 times after taking over from Lockyer at the end of 2011, claiming two World Cups as captain to go with his six Origin wins as skipper.

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

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.

Smith thanked his Storm coach Craig Bellamy for his support during his representative career, as well as his former Maroons mentors Mal Meninga and Wayne Bennett.

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

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.

"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 3 of a year ago was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level, and at 34 that speaks volumes", Walters said.

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