Former Melbourne Storm and Queensland Maroons captain Cameron Smith has signed a new three-year deal with SEN Radio amid growing speculation that he will join new Maroons' head coach Billy Slater in State of Origin camp.
SEN confirmed the news on Tuesday morning, announcing that Smith will continue in his current role with the radio network hosting "The Captain's Run" alongside Denan Kemp on Thursdays. The show will also be extended by an hour for each episode.
He will also appear on SEN's Sydney and Brisbane breakfast shows.
Smith's increased role with SEN could once again bring into debate his likeliness of becoming an assistant coach for Slater.
While most Origin assistant coaches juggle other jobs either in the media or in the NRL itself, and Smith has highlighted that he'd like to help Queensland if called upon previously, the increase in airtime may throw doubt over it.
It has previously been tipped that Smith could join Johnathan Thurston as part of Billy Slater's assistant coaching team, while a panel of legends including Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga would be set up as a senior consultancy group for the rookie coach to be aided in his first Origin series.
It had also been previously thought Bennett could end up in camp given he doesn't have a club commitment during the 2022 season outside of setting up the Dolphins for their first tilt at the NRL in 2023.
Smith, a Queensland legend and former captain, is widely thought of as an NRL coach in waiting, but has expressed the enjoyment he has gained out of being in the media, which could put those ideas on hold for the time being.
A crafty and clever footballer during his career, Smith captains all of his club, state and country for a decade and would be a major addition to Queensland's Origin camp, should he be signed by the QRL for the 2022 series in any sort of role.