Cameron Smith retires from representative rugby league

Smith made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon

"I thought his performance in Game 3 of previous year was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level, and at 34 that speaks volumes", Walters said.

Maroons coach Kevin Walter said he had an inkling that Smith was wavering about Origin in their discussions through the year.

Australian and Queensland captain Cameron Smith will announce his retirement from representative rugby league, effective immediately.

'I thought his performance in game 3 of past year was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level and at age 34 that speaks volumes, ' said Walters.

"Looking back on it now I just don't think it's fair on myself, I don't think that's fair on my family and also my teammates back here at Melbourne Storm".

A playmaking hooker and goalkicker, Smith took over as Queensland and Australia captain in 2012 and was voted the Rugby League International Federation's player of the year.

Smith played 56 games for Australia and has won a Tri-Nations series, five Four Nations tournaments and three World Cups.

His departure follows Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk's retirements past year from the representative level.

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It means Queensland will have to appoint a new captain and hooker for the Origin series opener against New South Wales on June 6.

"Brilliant representative career over a long period of time", NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said of Smith.

Cameron Smith knew his decision to call time on his glittering representative career was right when he told Queensland coach Kevin Walters and all he felt was relief.

"At no time did any other person's retirement or what the make up of the team this year come into my calculations", he said.

But he paid tribute to Smith, who he described as an outstanding "ambassador" and "student" in rugby league. "Respect, humility, all those things that you like to see in people, in everyday people, he shows that in every day of his life, the way he conducts himself as member of the team and more importantly a leader of the team whether it be here at the Storm, for the Maroons or Australia, he's always been exempt in that area".

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

"I am one of the lucky ones, I got to fulfil my dreams".

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