Smith set to announce rep retirement, effective immediately

Cameron Smith is set to announce his retirement from Queensland and Australia duty

"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 34 that speaks volumes", Walters said.

The 34-year-old officially announced his representative retirement at a media conference in Melbourne this afternoon.

Cameron Smith is reportedly set to announce an end to his representative career for Queensland and Australia, effective immediately.

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

He has made 42 appearances for Queensland Maroons in the State of Origin, winning 11 series.

The bombshell announcement comes just weeks before the first game of this year's State of Origin series, leaving Queensland without their inspirational leader for the first time since 2003.

"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".

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Smith said the strain of the 2017 Origin series and Rugby League World Cup had helped make his mind up.

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

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

The thought of letting down his club, teammates and family led him to hang up the boots on his decorated representative career just three weeks before the 2018 Origin series opener in Melbourne, leaving Kevin Walters short on leaders after Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk prioritised club football a year ago.

Smith said he'd started thinking about it a year ago, when he was unable to back up and play for the Storm the weekend after each Origin game as he'd done in the past.

His 26 wins as an Origin player is the most of any player to don either Queensland or New South Wales guernseys. I've been away from you for a long time but you've always wanted me to pursue my dreams'.

Greg Inglis is widely seen as the most likely option to replace Smith as Queensland captain, with Inglis and NSW skipper Boyd Cordner in the frame to lead the national team.

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