Father knows best and Smith won’t be hang­ing up the boots

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - 2018 GRAND FINAL - THE DAD PETER BADEL

CAMERON Smith’s father says the Mel­bourne skip­per’s talk of re­tire­ment is grand­fi­nal mind games, re­veal­ing the Queens­land mae­stro will sign an­other con­tract to play in the NRL next sea­son.

On the eve of tonight’s Storm-Roost­ers grand fi­nal, Wayne Smith gave a rare in­sight into his cham­pion son.

He spoke about the Storm skip­per’s fu­ture in rugby league, how the Cow­boys once tried to sign Smith and ad­dressed ru­mours of a feud with for­mer club­mate Cooper Cronk.

Smith plays a 384th game tonight and has raised the prospect of re­tire­ment if the Storm win back-to-back ti­tles.

But Smith se­nior is adamant his son will sol­dier on in 2019, claim­ing talk of quit­ting was a tac­tic de­signed to take the heat off team­mate Billy Slater over last week’s shoul­der-charge con­tro­versy.

“Cameron won’t re­tire,” Wayne Smith told The Sun­day Tele­graph. “I know Cameron wants to play on, 100 per cent.’’

Smith plays his sev­enth grand fi­nal for the Storm tonight, but if North Queens­land scouts had their way, he would have forged a long ca­reer at the the Cow­boys.

“We had an ap­proach from the Cow­boys and they were keen for him to move up to Townsville,” Smith se­nior said.

“Cameron was only 17 at the time and we didn’t want him leav­ing home ( in Bris- bane) at such a young age.’’

Smith and Cronk were team­mates for al­most two decades, but the cham­pion duo were rocked by spec­u­la­tion this year they had fallen out.

“I’ve heard the whis­pers (of a feud), so I asked Cam about it,” Wayne said.

“Cam said he is pretty be­mused by it all. I hon­estly don’t know if there is any­thing to it.’’

Cameron Smith with his proud father, Wayne.

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