Smith plans peace talks with McKinnon over story
CAMERON Smith says he is preparing to put the Alex McKinnon saga to bed once and for all.
Smith has confirmed he will meet McKinnon face to face in the coming days to reconcile their differences.
McKinnon levelled heavy criticism at the Melbourne Storm skipper during a 60 Minutes interview for his on-field actions in the aftermath of a tackle that left the Newcastle forward in a wheelchair.
McKinnon also accused Smith of failing to make contact in the 15 months since.
The Melbourne, Queensland and Australian captain was not given a right of reply on the program and has refused to comment publicly on the saga.
He has said he would mend fences with McKinnon pri- vately and on Wednesday revealed he hoped to meet him soon. Smith told Fox Sports’ Sterlo program he thought the process was about to begin.
“Clearly, I’d like to speak to Alex and I believe he’d like to speak to me as well,” he said.
“I think it’s best for both he and I that we get it done very soon.”
The McKinnon interview aired three days before last week’s State of Origin decider and Smith went into the game under a mountain of scrutiny.
He responded emphatically, leading Queensland to a record 52-6 win over NSW at Suncorp Stadium to seal the series.
Maroons and Brisbane back-rower Corey Parker described Smith’s leadership in the lead-up as exemplary under enormous pressure.
“He made sure that his players were first and he did that by way of just grabbing the guys, letting us know that he was OK first and foremost and for us to concentrate on our jobs and make sure we prepared the best way we could,” Parker said.
“I’ve got no doubt there would have been some influences or external pressure on him off the back of that story.”