Cam Smith calls time on rep career

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

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.

"That is something that I did think about when I was coming to my decision", Smith said when asked about whether he could extend his Storm career now.

Billy Slater says he hasn't thought about being Queensland captain because he's never needed to, playing all but one State of Origin match alongside long-time leader Cameron Smith.

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

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.

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

"Last year, more than any other year, the Origin series in particular had an effect on me both physically and mentally", Smith told a news conference.

He captained Queensland to six Origin series victories, which included filling in for the injured Darren Lockyer in 2008 before becoming full-time skipper four years later.

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He played 56 tests for Australia, including wins in the 2013 and 2017 World Cup.

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

Smith has won two NRL premierships with the Storm.

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

But he paid tribute to Smith, who he described as an outstanding "ambassador" and "student" in rugby league.

"I love being involved in the game, love playing the game and this extra commitment of representing Queensland in the middle of the season and then representing Australia at the end of the year - it does take its toll".

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's been a great person for the game, more than anything else", Walters said.

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