MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 17: Cameron Smith of the Storm runs with the ball during the round 23 NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Parramatta Eels at AAMI Park on August 17, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Melbourne star Cameron Smith is set to play on in 2019.

The 35-year-old Storm captain admits he got a bit emotional looking back at his years spent with Thurston before his close mate played his 323rd and final NRL games on Saturday in North Queensland’s clash with Gold Coast.

But Smith isn’t wanting to follow Thurston’s lead, confirming he wants to sign on for an 18th NRL season with the Storm.

The off-contract no.9 is well on his way to become the first player to reach 400 in 2019.

“I have got plans to play on next year no doubt,” Smith told Fox Sports’ League Life on Wednesday night.

“And the club are aware of that. That is just something the club and my management need to work out.”

Smith’s future appeared uncertain after he was honoured with a pre-season testimonial match along with Thurston. He soon announced his representative retirement mere weeks before State of Origin and then there was next to no discussion regarding NRL contract talks.

The veteran hooker is still at the top of his game for Melbourne who will look to sea their third straight minor premiership with a win over Penrith last Friday night.

“[Retirement] is definitely getting closer, being 35 now,” Smith said.

“[But] I am really keen to play on. I don’t feel like I am slowing down that much.

“I feel like I am playing as good as I have ever played.”


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