Sport Questions raised about Smith's retirement

15:07  17 may  2018
15:07  17 may  2018 Source:   wwos.ninemsn.com.au

Fittler's unexpected reaction to Smith retirement

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NRL immortal and Nine commentator Andrew Johns has played down speculation surrounding Cameron Smith’s shock retirement from representative football.

Smith stunned the rugby league world on Tuesday when he announced he was stepping down from all forms of representative football effective immediately.

His departure leaves a huge void in the Maroons line-up, with halves Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk already announcing their representative retirements last year.

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The review also acknowledges "it is still too early to assess their effectiveness in raising savings adequacy." Much of the document is blacked out under the "advice" exemption of the Access to Information Act, including a section on policy questions .

There have been questions raised about the timing of the decision and whether there might have been something more sinister forcing the Maroons legend to call it quits.

The four-time Dally M medallist revealed his family was a major influence in his decision, revealing he struggled not being around those closest to him during representative obligations.

Cameron Smith wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd But Johns has shut down the conspiracy theories saying he wasn’t taken aback by the news.

"The timing didn't really worry me at all. Full credit to him. He's honest, transparent. People love to be outraged this year. There's no conspiracy. Leave him alone. Don't dig for nothing that is not there,” said Johns.

The eighth immortal believes it won’t be hard for Kevin Walters to anoint a new skipper for the Maroons although the job of leading the Kangaroos isn’t as obvious.

Smith's decision left Lockyer shocked

  Smith's decision left Lockyer shocked Cameron Smith's decision to walk away from State of Origin three weeks before the series opener shocked Queensland selector Darren Lockyer.Smith's decision to walk away from representative football stunned the NRL on Tuesday, giving Queensland two weeks to find a new hooker and captain before going into camp for Game I.

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"I think Greg Inglis would be a great QLD captain. There's notreal stand out for Australian captain. Maybe it's between Boyd Cordner and Greg Inglis."

Johns echoed NSW coach Brad Fittler’s thoughts about the level of difficulty increasing with Smith’s departure and gave his thoughts on who will replace him in the Queensland team.

"I think they will go McCullough. It totally changes everything. The way they attack, even the way they defend. It is a huge change, not only for QLD but the way NSW will play."

Earlier in the week fellow Nine commentator Phil Gould predicted that Billy Slater will hand over the reins to Kalyn Ponga before the end of the 2018 series.

a man wearing a baseball uniform holding a football ball© Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Despite Gould’s bold call, Johns believes Ponga will be in the squad regardless.

"Ponga will be there in the 18 or 19, just to experience the camp. Hopefully the NSW team are 2-0 and force his (Billy Slater) hand."


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