Cameron Smith Retires From Representative Football

Cameron Smith has announced his retirement from Rugby League's greatest arena, effective immediately.

What you need to know
  • Cameron Smith, the most decorated player in Queensland State of Origin history, has retired
  • He's played, and won, the most games in the State of Origin arena
  • Smith's played 56 tests for Australia, and won two World Cups as captain

One of Australia’s most decorated rugby league players has retired from representative football.

Cameron Smith, captain of both the Australian and Queensland teams, confirmed the bombshell announcement on Tuesday.

“I probably started having small thoughts of some thoughts about finishing up last year, going into the world cup it was quite as lengthy campaign,” he said.

'I think right now if the right time for me to finish up.”

It’s a massive blow to the Maroons camp, who were already looking at an Origin series without Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.

Johnathan Thurston (left) and Cameron Smith (right) of the Maroons celebrate winning State of Origin after game III in 2017. Image: AAP/DARREN ENGLAND

Smith spoke about the toll more than a decade of representative football has taken on both his body, and his family.

“I guess last year more than any other year, the origins series in particular, had a larger effect on me, both physically and mentally out of any year I played.”

“It’s been an absolutely enjoyable experience that I’ve had, getting the opportunity to play for Queensland and play for Australia.

“I still remember when I was a little boy in my backyard dreaming to put on the Queensland jersey.”

Queensland fans are understandably shattered, Smith's been a constant contributor and a steady head for the Maroons.

Smith has played a whopping 42 Origin matches for Queensland, and has worn the No.9 jersey in almost every game since 2003.

He holds countless records in the representative arena, including the most Origin wins and appearances.

Smith lifting the cup after winning a Test Match between Australia and New Zealand. Image: AAP/RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

He’s played the second most tests for Australia at 56, and has won a staggering 49 of those.

He saved his most sincere thanks for the family that have supported him through an illustrious, and often-times strenuous, representative career.

Smith said the reasons for not playing on far out-weighed the reasons for playing on, and his family was a large proponent of that.

“I wasn’t offering much at home during origin time,” he said.

Sitting alongside his departing captain, Queensland coach Kevvie Walters couldn’t help but crack a joke at first, asking if Cameron could just go and play a couple thirty-minute spells for Queensland.

Melbourne Storm 'big three' Cooper Cronk, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater pose with the Provan-Summons Trophy after winning the NRL grand final. Image: Getty

All jokes aside however, Queensland’s coach spoke most about the character of Cameron Smith.

“Respect, humility, all these things you like to see in people, in everyday people, he has.

“His integrity, and how he carries himself the way he has in his position over the past decade.”

Reminiscing about a young Smith, Kevvie had another joke to crack up the press conference.

“He was a scrawny little kid – he hasn’t changed,” laughed Walters.

When asked about his fondest memories in representative football, Smith pointed to an early memory.

Game 3, 2003… Smith’s first time pulling on the Maroon jersey. He remembered scoring a try on debut… which is fitting, considering the incredible, and illustrious, career he went on to play.