Cameron Smith

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Cameron Smith
CameronS.jpg
Smith playing for Melbourne in 2010
Personal information
Born (1983-06-18) 18 June 1983 (age 31)
Brisbane, Queensland
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 90 kg (14 st 2 lb)
Playing information
Position Hooker, Five-eighth, Halfback
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2002– Melbourne Storm 283 37 750 1 1649
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2003–14 Queensland 33 5 16 0 52
2006–14 Australia 38 9 30 0 96
Source: RLP

Cameron Smith (born 18 June 1983 in Brisbane, Queensland) is a professional rugby league player in the NRL who currently captains the Australian national team, the Queensland State of Origin team, as well as his National Rugby League club, the Melbourne Storm. A goal-kicking hooker, he has played his whole NRL career to date with the Storm with whom he won the 2006 Dally M Medal and the 2007, 2009 and 2012 NRL Grand Finals. In 2007 Smith was awarded the Golden Boot Award as the world's best international player and he captained Australia to victory in the 2013 World Cup.

Background[edit]

As a youth Smith was hooker for the Logan Brothers Junior Rugby League Club, Logan City. There he attended Marsden State High School.[1] After scoring 188 points for the Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup[2] he moved up to the NRL with the Melbourne Storm club.

Professional playing career[edit]

2000s[edit]

Smith's first two games for Melbourne were during the 2002 NRL season, both played at half-back. The following year he played as the Storm's hooker. In 2003 the Queensland rugby league team were without a specialist hooker. After experimenting with different players in the position for the first two matches of the 2003 State of Origin series and losing both, Smith was named at hooker for the third match (and for the next six years no other player would wear the number 9 for the Maroons until this run of 19 consecutive Origins was cut due to injury). He was named the Melbourne Storm's rookie of the year in 2003.[3]

In 2005 Smith was named the Melbourne Storm's player of the year. The following year he first represented Australia and won the Dally M Medal. In addition he was again named the Storm's player of the year. Smith led the storm to the 2006 NRL Grand Final. While the game was still in the balance he was forced from the field with injury, which the Storm's loss has been largely attributed to.[4]

Cam Smith on international duty with the Kangaroos in 2006

Smith was selected to play for the Australian national team at hooker the 2007 ANZAC Test match victory against New Zealand.[5] For the 2007 State of Origin series Smith took out both the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series and Ron Mcauliffe Medal for Queensland player of the series.[6] He was also named the Melbourne Storm player of the year. Smith captained the Melbourne Storm in their 34–8 victory over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in the 2007 NRL Grand Final.

Smith with the Storm in 2007.

Smith became regular captain of the Melbourne Storm in 2008. Smith captained the Maroons for the entire 2008 State of Origin series due to the absence of regular captain Darren Lockyer. The Maroons won the series with him as the skipper, despite losing the first match 18-10. In August 2008, Smith was named in the preliminary 46-man Kangaroos squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup,[7][8] and in October 2008 he was selected in the final 24-man Australia squad.[9] Cameron was suspended for two weeks in the 2008 finals series after a grapple tackle on Brisbane's Sam Thaiday. The suspension would have only been one week had he not had carry over points from a previous grapple tackle in round 1 of the year's competition. This meant he was suspended for Melbourne's 2008 grand final. Melbourne Storm CEO Brian Waldron and coach Craig Bellamy claimed the judiciary had made their minds up before Cameron's case was heard. The judiciary panel members then threatened to sue the club if the comments were not retracted. Cameron signed a four-year extension to his contract in December 2008, resulting in him being a contracted player through to the end of at least the 2012 season. His contract is rumoured to be partly funded by third party sponsors who do not contribute to the standard salary cap. He became the Melbourne Storm's most experienced playing player due to the retirement of Matt Geyer at the end of 2008. He became the last current Storm player in the squad who played under Mark Murray as well as the only one to have played in a season when the Storm did not make the finals due to their performance (the Storm finished 10th in 2002, the year Smith made his debut).

In April 2009, he was named in the preliminary 25 man squad to represent Queensland in the opening State of Origin match for 2009.[10] He was selected for Australia in the one-off test match against New Zealand on 8 May 2009.[11] In the preliminary final in which Melbourne defeated the Brisbane Broncos 40–10, he became Storm's highest ever point scorer, beating Matt Orford's record of 877. Smith led the Storm in their 2009 NRL Grand Final victory over the Parramatta Eels.[12] At the end of the season he joined the Kangaroos on their campaign to win the 2009 Four Nations tournament in England. He scored the try that saved Australia from losing in the opening match and also scored in the Kangaroos' victory against England in the final.

2010s[edit]

Smith (centre) training with the Maroons in 2009.

In 2010 he played in the 2010 World Club Challenge at halfback in the absence of his usual Number 7 Cooper Cronk due to injury. Smith kicked 5 goals and was named man of match. For the 2010 ANZAC Test, Smith was selected to play for Australia at hooker in their victory against New Zealand. For the first time since Game II of the 2003 Origin series, Smith wasn't wearing the No 9 for Queensland, after he failed to overcome the elbow injury he sustained playing in that Test. He was replaced by Matt Ballin.[13] In Round 26 of the 2010 NRL season Smith became the first Melbourne Storm player to reach 1,000 points after successfully converting Ryan Hinchcliffe's try. Smith played in the 42-0 thrashing of the Papua New Guinea national rugby league team during the 2010 Four Nations. It was a game where he converted 5 tries and scored once. He was later named man of the match.

Smith was named man-of-the-match in Queensland's win in Game I and later Game III of the 2011 State of Origin series, subsequently resulting in his naming as the Wally Lewis medal winning man-of-the-series. On 3 November 2011 The annual RLIF Awards dinner was held at the Tower of London and Smith was named Hooker of the year.[14]

Following Darren Lockyer's retirement at the end of the 2011 season, Smith became captain of both Australia and Queensland. He captained both sides to the 2012 ANZAC Test and 2012 State of Origin series victories respectively. At the 2012 Dally M Awards Smith was named the NRL's hooker of the year.[15] He captained Storm to victory in the 2012 NRL Grand Final over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.Smith also received the Rugby League International Federation's international player of the year award for 2012.[16]

He then captained them to victory in the 2013 World Club Challenge over Leeds earning the title of world champions. Smith captained Australia in the 2013 ANZAC Test and played at hooker. He kicked four goals from six attempts in what was the first test match ever played in Canberra: a victory over New Zealand were defeated. After victory in the third and deciding game of the 2013 State of Origin series Smith was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series, in which he captained the Queensland team which extended their record wining streak to 8 years.

On 9 June 2013, Smith played his 250th game for the Melbourne Storm, the second only player to have achieved that feat.[17]

Queensland's win in Game III of the 2014 State of Origin series made Smith the first player in State of Origin history to win 20 games.

Honours[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Smith has three children with his long term partner Barbara Johnson, whom he married in late 2011: a daughter, Jada, who was born in 2008; a son, Jasper, who was born the following year; and a second daughter, Matilda [18]

Smith supports the Hawthorn Football Club.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ School days to class acts By Matt Marshall (The Daily Telegraph 23 April 2009)
  2. ^ "NORTHS DEVILS". QRL. 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  3. ^ melbournestorm.com.au. "NRL Honour Board". Club. Melbourne Storm. 
  4. ^ Masters, Roy (2 October 2006). "Broncos shine on centre stage". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax digital). Retrieved 16 December 2009. 
  5. ^ "Anzac Test Match 2007". rugbyleagueproject.org. Shawn Dollin, Andrew Ferguson and Bill Bates. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Livermore, Ross (2007). "Australian Rugby Football League Annual Report 2007" (pdf). Australian Rugby League Limited. p. 9. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  7. ^ Liam FitzGibbon (1 August 2008). "Surprises in Kangaroos squad". "Fox Sports News (Australia)". Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  8. ^ "Veteran Lockyer named in Australian squad". International Herald Tribune. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "Manly six win Australia call-up". BBC. 7 October 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Queensland name preliminary State of Origin squad". Fox Sports. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  11. ^ Wald, Tom (3 May 2009). "Kangaroos selectors stick by losing World Cup team for New Zealand Test". Fox Sports. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  12. ^ Telstra Premiership Scores (dead link)
  13. ^ Koch, Dan (24 May 2010). "Matt Ballin proves Wayne Bennett happily wrong". The Australian. 
  14. ^ "Slater scoops player award". Sky Sports. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  15. ^ News Limited (4 September 2012). "All the Dally M winners plus galleries". Herald Sun. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Awards". rlif.com. Rugby League International Federation. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  17. ^ "Cooper Cronk notches up 250 games with Melbourne Storm". Big News Network.com. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith a knockabout bloke
  19. ^ Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith believes Hawthorn can climb the summit and win the premiership, Fox Sports, 19 March 2013

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Darren Lockyer
Australia national rugby league team captain
2012 - present
Succeeded by
TBA
Preceded by
Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm, Queensland & Australia)
RLIF International Player of the Year
2012
Succeeded by
Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters, New Zealand)