'Haven't had that feeling': Cameron Smith drops retirement bombshell

Cameron Smith, pictured here speaking to the media ahead of the NRL grand final.
Cameron Smith speaks to the media ahead of the NRL grand final. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Cameron Smith insists he still hasn’t made a decision about retirement despite being chaired off Suncorp Stadium last weekend.

In what appeared to be a final farewell to the ground he called home while playing for Queensland, Smith was chaired off the field by Melbourne Storm teammates after their preliminary final win over Canberra.

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But according to the man himself, he hasn’t settled on retiring just yet.

The 37-year-old will make a call on whether to extend his record-breaking NRL career or retire after Sunday’s grand final against Penrith.

A fifth grand final victory, albeit with the 2007 and 2009 titles later stripped, appears the perfect way to call time and many are tipping that is exactly what the former Queensland and Australia captain will do.

But Smith is adamant he’s yet to come to conclusion about his future ahead of his 430th NRL appearance.

“Not really,” Smith said on Thursday when asked if he felt Father Time was catching up on him.

“Which is why it makes the decision really hard.

“I've spoken to a few of my ex-teammates who are now retired and they've told me that there's just one day they wake up and just in their mind they didn't want to do it anymore.

“That was the reason they knew it was time to finish up. I haven't had that feeling yet.

“There's lots of things to consider outside of just how I feel and whether I think I can play on. After this game is finished, I'll do some thinking and I'll make a decision.”

Melbourne Storm enjoying relaxed preparation

Smith cut a relaxed figure at the Storm’s media call on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday.

The veteran hooker was sat next to coach Craig Bellamy in thongs and boardshorts.

It’s all part of a much different grand final build-up than he or the Storm are used to in years gone by, but one Smith believes will prove beneficial to the players who take the field at ANZ Stadium on Sunday evening.

“It's unlike any other that I've been involved in,” Smith said.

“Only once - I think it was our first one in '06 - where we flew to Sydney for the grand final breakfast then we returned to Melbourne for the rest of our preparation for the game.

Cameron Smith, pictured here being chaired off Suncorp Stadium.
Cameron Smith was chaired off Suncorp Stadium in what appeared to be a farewell. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“Other than that we've always been in Sydney fairly early on whether it's Tuesday or Wednesday, leading in to the game, and it's a fair bit going on with certain formalities that need to happen and press conferences and all that.

“It's quite relaxed. I hope that it's going to benefit us particularly those young guys that are experiencing their first grand final.

“This is the same build up that we've had for every other game we've played this year, and ... I think it's important that you try keep the same routine, as much as possible leading into this big game.”

Meanwhile, Prop Tui Kamikamica has recovered from his ankle injury and is training with the main group, but Bellamy was coy on whether he would earn a spot on the interchange bench.

“We are thinking there is a real good chance he will play but he's got to get through a couple of other sessions and the one today will have more intensity than the first two so we will see how he goes and pulls up,” Bellamy said.

with AAP

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