NRL legend Smith retires
Melbourne Storm and Queensland State of Origin great Cameron Smith has announced his retirement from Rugby League, putting to an end months of speculation around his playing future.
Smith confirmed his playing days were over at the unveiling of his statue outside of the Storm's home ground in Melbourne on Wednesday.
His announcement brings to a close an extraordinary 19-season career that has the 37-year-old touted as a future rugby league Immortal.
Smith's final game of his 430 match career was Melbourne's Grand Final win over Penrith last October, recent rumours linking him to both the Brisbane Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans, having relocated to Queensland after the 2020 NRL season.
He said he had been "wrestling with the idea" of continuing his career but decided only recently to hang up his boots instead as a one-club player.
"I still felt good within myself physically and mentally, I still felt like my form was good enough to play in the NRL," Smith said.
"But at the end of the day, once I spent good quality time with my family up in Queensland, I knew that it was the right time to finish and it just gives me the opportunity now to enjoy what's going to be the next phase, the next chapter of my life.
Smith's announcement comes on the eve of the season, with the Storm playing the season opener at AAMI Park against South Sydney on Thursday night.
IMAGE: Fox Sports.