BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Cameron Smith of the Maroons breaks away from the defence during game three of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Former Panthers GM Phil Gould has declared that Cameron Smith will return to Origin this season.

The 35-year old called time on his Maroons career last year but there have been calls for him to back flip on retirement amid a leadership crisis.

And Gould supports that notion.

“I’m getting the gut feel not just that he will play but he has to play,” Gould told 100% Footy.

“He has to play, they have got no one else.”

Gould was not a fan of the idea of Josh McGuire starting at hooker with Ben Hunt coming on as his back up 20 minutes in.

“God I hope they do that,” Gould said. “That is not going to happen.

“Three weeks ago when they mentioned Cameron Smith I said no he’s done his duty, why would you send him back there?

“No they have just gone fallen over, fallen over, fallen over and now it is at the point where there is too much noise. He is going to do it.”

Gould believes the the Maroons will keep a Smith return in the dark until the very last minute.

“They will leave us hanging until the last minute,” Gould said.

“They might even go in with TBA, to be advised.”

Queensland coach Kevin Walters recently insisted that he would not be picking the Storm veteran.

“He’s done, he won’t be playing Origin this year, Cameron Smith,” Walters told Thursday Night League on Fox League.

“I won’t be going back on my word, no.

“Cameron said he’s expecting someone from Queensland put their hand up. It’s their time.”



  1. He won’t play.
    He knows the run is over and NSW will dominate for several years and he doesn’t want to go out a loser.
    Lets face it even if he comes back NSW will still win comfortably.
    We are better from 1-17 even with the referees boss in the toads side.

  2. Reed Mahoney will play hooker. I think he’s a very underrated player and will be a great 9 for QLD for the future

  3. What would Phil Gould know? Cameron Smith will NOT come out of representative retirement and play for Queensland.

  4. Slammin Sammy Thaiday, I’d Say Walters Would Play Hunt There For Game 1. Because Of His Prior Experience Playing Hooker For Brisbane & The Maroons As A Utility. (Apparently Mccullough Should Be Fit For Game 2)

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