Maroons star Cameron Smith quits weeks before Origin opener

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

ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk has hinted she is open to immortalising Queensland great Cameron Smith with a bronze statue outside Suncorp Stadium in light of his representative retirement.

"Right now, this year is the right time to finish up".

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

Since playmaker Thurston's debut in 2005, the pair have played a crucial role in the Maroons' 11 of the last 12 series victories.

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.

He said: "That is something that I did think about when I was coming to my decision".

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

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Fox Sports reports that Smith, along with Queensland coach Kevin Walters, will hold a press conference in Melbourne at 1pm this afternoon, where Smith will confirm he is walking away from Maroons and Kangaroos football effective immediately.

"Looking back on it now I don't think that it is fair on myself, I don't think it's fair on my family and also my teammates back here at Melbourne Storm."
"I couldn't quite back up after any of those Origin matches and maybe that was a sign there that it was time".

Smith's record as an Australian representative is just as formidable, captaining the Kangaroos to the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, and the 2016 Four Nations title.

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

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

This means Smith won't play in the upcoming Origin series, leaving a hole in the No. 9 jersey for Queensland.

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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