Smith shatters Origin talk amid leadership crisis
QUEENSLAND legend Cameron Smith will not be making a triumphant Origin return after the former skipper declared "my time as an Origin player is now finished."
There have been growing calls for Smith to reconsider his representative retirement amid an injury crisis for the Maroons.
The 35-year-old is still at the top of his game having started the year in outstanding fashion sitting second on the Dally M medal count behind teammate Cameron Munster.
But Smith has no intention of reversing his shock decision to retire from representative football at the end of 2017.
"My thoughts on Origin now haven't changed from the day I decided to finish up," Smith said.
"I was fortunate to have my time at that level. Now it's time for the younger Queenslanders to take that jersey and represent our great state and do what they do best.
"Create a bit of history for themselves and their own story. I'm not too sure how this has got any momentum at all to be fair. It's just come out of no where. I've got no intention at all to be available for Origin.
"I'm finished in that space of my career. I really enjoyed my time there. Unfortunately things come to an end. My time as an Origin player is now finished."
Injuries to probable Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans and Jake Friend have prompted suggestions for Queensland coach Kevin Walters to entice Smith back.
Walters this week said he would resist the temptation to reach out to Smith or Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk.
Hours before Smith spoke with the Daily Telegraph, his club coach Craig Bellamy had given him his "blessing" if he wanted to add to his record 42-Origin games.
Smith said he had lost that hunger to play for the Maroons.
"If I was back there I would still enjoy it," Smith said.
"I remember talking about the reasons why I finished up. That was because I just don't feel like I can (fulfil) the extra commitments on top of my club and family commitments. It's just something I'm willing to do now.
"My love and passion for Queensland and the Maroons team will never change. That will always be there but my desire to play and be part of it is not there anymore."
The news will be a welcomed relief to a NSW squad who are looking at winning back-to-back Blues series' for the first time since 2005.
Smith will press ahead with his march towards an unprecedented 400th game when he turns out for game 392 against the Sharks on Friday night.
He will also take back the goalkicking duties having been hampered by a groin injury in recent weeks.
"The leg is all good now," Smith said. "The first week was because I had an irritation. Last week was more precaution. It didn't feel 100 per cent. The medical staff spoke to me and advised me that one more week would have a huge effect. I was close to kicking against the Warriors."
The Storm head into the grudge match with the Sharks equal first on the ladder dropping just one game.
"We've shown plenty of effort and a fair bit of resilience through the first seven weeks to be six and 1," Smith said.
"The one we did lose was against the roosters in golden point. To be where we are its' been a great effort by the team. We are a fair way off our best."