Melbourne Storm fans would be rejoicing to hear that their legendary captain Cameron Smith will play on for the club next season. His one year deal for 2019 is reportedly worth $1 million.
Already the the most capped NRL player of all time with 382 appearances, the new contract means Smith will enter his 18th NRL season and give him the chance to be the first 400-game player in the history of the competition.
2018 was the first year Smith has only played club football, having announced his retirement from all forms of representative football after playing 56 International Tests for Australia and 42 State of Origin games for Queensland. Smith said to preserve his body and extend his playing career for as long as possible, he made a decision to focus solely on his commitments to the Storm. Smith has played 24 games this season, guiding them to their fourth-straight preliminary final next weekend.
Smith’s role in the Storm side was critical during the June to July Origin series period, helping the second-string players keep the Storm team undefeated while some of its stars were away on Origin duty. With Storm bidding farewell to club legends Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman at season’s end, Smith’s mentoring presence on the field guiding new player combinations will be needed more than ever.
Smith has essentially earned every possible achievement and accolade in rugby and has positioned himself well to continue on for one more year. He says he feels better than ever, and without the added toll of representative duties, he is confident his body can endure one more season.
And if his career to date is anything to go by, depending on how next year goes 2020 may not seem so ridiculous for another go-around for this living sporting legend.