BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Cameron Smith of the Maroons celebrates victory after game three of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Cameron Smith of the Maroons celebrates victory after game three of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Why a Cameron Smith return wouldn’t be a fairytale

Whispers over Cameron Smith making a bombshell return for the Maroons this year have begun to swirl around the NRL, but longtime Footy Show host Paul Vautin says an Origin comeback would be going too far for the 35-year-old.

With probable hooker Jake Friend out with an injury sustained last round, Vautin said it was highly likely coach Kevin Walters shot a tentative SOS call to Smith.

"He stood down last year about three weeks before the series and nobody still knows why. Why did he leave it so late," Vautin told Triple M's Rush Hour with MG.

"The call would have been made to Cameron ... but I personally wouldn't do it. He's 35 and he's probably still up to it. I was there when they came off against the Warriors and he didn;t have a bead of sweat on him, that's just how he rolls.

"I don't think he'll do it ... if he decides to return, he's putting his entire legacy on the line."

Vautin joined Matty Johns in throwing his weight behind Dragons star Ben Hunt for the Maroons No. 9 jumper.

Vautin said he'd pick Michael Morgan at halfback, and also captain after injury struck hopeful skipper Daly Cherry-Evans last weekend.

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says his five-eighth Cameron Munster wouldn't let Queensland down if appointed their captain, but believes there are better credentialed contenders.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters is searching for a new skipper following the retirement of 2018 leader Greg Inglis.

Walters on the weekend said that 24-year-old Munster, who has played just four Origin games was his long-term 

With Smith out of the mix and a bunch of players injured, who will captain the Queenslanders?
With Smith out of the mix and a bunch of players injured, who will captain the Queenslanders?

choice to lead Queensland. He didn't rule out an earlier appointment and circumstances mean Munster - who doesn't captain his club - could be pressed into state leadership duties this year.

Manly captain and halfback Daly Cherry-Evans is considered a strong contender, but could miss the first Origin game on June 5, as he will be sidelined for four to six weeks with an ankle injury.

Another candidate Walters could consider is North Queensland captain and halfback Michael Morgan.

"I think those guys because they have had the (captaincy) experience at club level, are probably better credentialed (than Munster) to be quite honest," Bellamy said on Fox League's NRL 360.

"But having said that, obviously with Daly with his ankle and whether Kevvie (Walters) wants to take that chance with Munster.

"The thing about Munster is obviously he's going to be in the (Queensland) team and whatever you seem to throw at him, he'llget the job done for you "That's the thing I love about Cameron Munster on game day.