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Cameron Smith breaks his silence over possible State of Origin return

Queenslanders — the news is not good.

Melbourne Storm captain and NRL legend Cameron Smith has admitted his State of Origin return is not on the cards, despite a plenty of speculation about a shock return.

The most capped player in Origin history, Smith said 42 games is enough and he’ll leave the future of Queensland in the hands of the future.

Maroons fans had been hoping their inspirational former captain would make an Allan Langer-style return in 2019 following the huge drain of experience from the squad over the past two years.

With 2018 Queensland captain Greg Inglis the latest to call it quits, along with Daly Cherry-Evans headlining the Maroons’ injury squeeze, Smith has admitted he isn’t in line to answer an Origin SOS.

The veteran hooker insisted his time in the Origin arena is over and that he won’t reverse his representative retirement after pulling the pin on the eve of last year’s series.

“My thoughts on Origin now haven’t changed from the day I decided to finish up,” Smith told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday night.

“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.”

Cameron Smith has been one of the big outs for Queensland over the past few years.Source:Getty Images

It’s been a bizarre time over the last week with plenty of pundits talking about a potential return.

Even his club coach Craig Bellamy backed Smith to make the return.

“If Cameron wanted to play Origin again he would do so with my blessing and I imagine the club would be the same,” Bellamy said at a press conference on Thursday.

“For what he has done for our club and for the game in general, if that is what he wanted to do I wouldn’t stand in his way.

“I haven’t spoken to Cameron about it but it has been a topic among some of the shows.

“I think he is playing well enough to play Origin no doubt, he has been up in our top three or four players for nearly every week.

“I’m not quite sure that he would really want to go back and play after making that break last year and I’m not going to approach him about it.”

Speaking after Thursday Night Football on Fox League’s The Late Show with Matty Johns, Gorden Tallis backed Queensland coach Kevin Walters to make a call to Smith.

“You’re not taking anybody’s spot, they’ll have their chance to come and play,” Tallis said. “I think the state needs him at the moment. And it’s the final box for him. When you retire, all the Queenslanders talk to you about Origin, they don’t talk to you about grand finals or anything like that. I think he could come back and go down in history.”

Paul Kent added “it won’t happen until the last minute, if it happens at all”.

The speculation will continue until the players run onto the field.Source:AAP

But longtime Footy Show host Paul Vautin says an Origin comeback would be going too far for the 35-year-old.

“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.”

Former NSW captain Paul Gallen said he hopes Smith doesn’t come out of retirement but if he does, it will only be to Queensland’s benefit.

“Well, as a New South Welshman, I hope he doesn’t,” Gallen told David Morrow and Mat Thompson on Macquarie Sports Radio. “He’s still the best player in the game in my opinion, he’s a class act.

“I think they need him to be honest, he’s a big difference in why the Blues won last year. He’s so dangerous out of dummy half, his kicking game is impeccable, his passing game, his timing around the ruck, he’s the best in the game still. If they’re a big chance of winning they need Cameron Smith.”

— with AAP

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