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Smith announces shock Australia, Queensland retirement

16 May, 2018, 08:24 | Author: Joan Malone
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"Right now, this year is the right time to finish up".

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.

"The origin series in particular had an effect on me both physically and mentally out of any year I played", he said.

"I would like to think it does give me the opportunity to play on a bit longer in the domestic competition if that is the right thing for myself and the family and if it's the right thing for Melbourne Storm as well".

The brilliant hooker led Australia to two Rugby League World Cup triumphs while being part of the all-conquering Queensland sides that won 11 Origin series in 12 years.

The skipper is set to front the media today to make an announcement regarding his rep future, however Fox Sports' James Hooper has said that the decision to hang up the boots will be effective immediately for all rep footy.

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

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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.

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

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

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

Walters said it was fitting Smith's final Origin appearance in 2017 was one to remember.

I started having some small thoughts about finishing up my representative career a year ago. Brandon Smith, utility Joe Stimson and youngster Harry Grant are likely in the running to fill Smith's shoes.

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