Cameron Smith's composure and calm demeanour from the ripe age of 20 made him "unrivalled" as a representative player, according to Queensland legend Darren Lockyer.
Smith's representative retirement on Tuesday ended one of the great State of Origin eras, after the Maroons' hooker debuted in 2003 after just 18 NRL games.
Since then, Smith has gone on to play a record 42 Origins for 26 wins, helping Queensland to 11 series victories in the past 12 years - including six of them as captain.
But according to Lockyer, after playing alongside Smith from 2003-11 and being a Queensland selector more recently, the hooker's best trait was to remain just as composed at age 20 as at 34.
"In terms of his demeanour, it was the same when he started to when he finished," Lockyer told AAP.
"His first game, it just looked like he was going to play for his school. As he got more senior in that team, he became more authoritative. He was always just looked in control.
"I think whenever we're under pressure in anything, life or sport, I think it's an art to stay calm under pressure.
"In those big moments and big games, he was the one who kept everyone calm and on task to what they needed to do."
Smith, an Immortal in waiting, will bow out of the representative arena as one of the greatest at that level of the game.
The Melbourne hooker four times won the Wally Lewis Medal for Queensland's player of the series. He is a two-time recipient of the Harry Sunderland Medal for the Kangaroos' player of the year.
He also captained Queensland 21 times, the third most in the state's Origin history, after taking over from Lockyer at the end of 2011.
"I think early on, we all saw the leadership qualities in him early on," Lockyer said.
"By the time I was getting towards retirement, I don't think there was even a debate about it. I think he just stared everyone in the eyes and everyone knew he was the man.
"There's no doubt his influence had a big impact on the results."