Maroons star Cameron Smith quits weeks before Origin opener

The champion hooker will continue playing for the Melbourne Storm but he will no longer represent his state or country

On social media tributes flowed for Smith, who played 42 games for the Maroons (2003-2017) and 56 Test for the Kangaroos (2006-2017).

His 26 wins as an Origin player is the most of any player to don either Queensland or New South Wales guernseys.

"Today I'm announcing my retirement from representative football as of right now", he said in a statement.

"It's a decision that I did take a lot of time to come to but in the end the reasons for not playing on far outweighed reasons to play on this year".

"I probably started having small thoughts about finishing up my representative career a year ago".

'Last year, more than any other year, the Origin series in particular had an effect on me both physically and mentally, ' said Smith.

"I'd like to think it will give me the opportunity to play on in our domestic competition if it is the right thing for my family and the Melbourne Storm as well".

He captained Queensland to six Origin series victories, which included filling in for the injured Darren Lockyer in 2008 before becoming full-time skipper four years later.

He captained Australia during the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, winning both.

The 34-year-old didn't rule out taking on the job if it was offered, but said he would leave it in the hands of Queensland coach Kevin Walters.

Smith thanked his Storm coach Craig Bellamy for his support during his representative career, as well as his former Maroons mentors Mal Meninga and Wayne Bennett.

"We've been fortunate that Cam's been ultra-durable and he doesn't miss too many games", Slater said.

He said regardless of whether or not he was the Queensland captain he would do his best to fill the leadership void left by the retirement of Cronk and Johnathan Thurston from their side.

"From a personal point of view I would have loved to have played on for a lot longer but unfortunately we don't live in a ideal world and those things don't happen", Smith said.

Smith's decision is likely to springboard Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough into contention for a Queensland debut, while Jake Granville of the Cowboys could be another option.