NRL Expert @JennaBrooks
NRL talking points: Cameron Smith's announcement and former Super League standouts
Last Updated: 15/05/18 2:52pm
Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL as Cameron Smith drops a huge bombshell, plus a couple of former Super League players stand out - including Mahe Fonua. But why won’t the former Hull man be playing this week?
Cameron Smith has shocked the rugby league world.
The Australia, Queensland and Melbourne skipper has announced he will retire from representative rugby, effective immediately.
With just three weeks to go until Game One of the State of Origin gets underway, live on Sky Sports, Queensland will have to appoint a new captain and hooker.
The 34-year old told media at a news conference in Melbourne on Tuesday that it was the '"right time" to end his representative career, with a desire to spend more time with his family leading to his decision.
Smith also praised his Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy, as well as his former Queensland coaches Mal Meninga and Wayne Bennett for their support during his time representing his country and state.
"Not only did they make me a better footballer and a better captain, but a better person overall as well," Smith said.
"When I spoke to Kev (Kevin Walters) about the decision it was almost like a weight was off my shoulders."
The Queensland coach joked: "Yeah, he shifted the weight to me. I'd actually like to announce my retirement."
Walters went on to call Smith the "benchmark" for the Maroons.
"I think his performance in game three of last year's Origin performance was one of the best I've seen of anyone at that level and that was at 34 years of age."
Smith led Queensland to 11 of the past 12 State of Origin series, as well as winning two Rugby League World Cups during his outstanding representative career.
Mahe Fonua was a cult figure in Hull and after the Wests Tigers' 20-12 win over the Cowboys on Thursday, the 25-year old centre was on his way to becoming one in Western Sydney.
The former Black and White star was named man-of-the-match after an incredible game that saw him run for 215 metres, make five tackle busts and one linebreak.
Fonua said: "(It) was the best way I could have played to show the coach what I'm about in that position and the fans… Hopefully they're all pleased with the win."
Wests Tigers head coach Ivan Cleary was extremely pleased with Fonua.
"Tonight he had all the right moves. He was a threat constantly, he's a presence as well. Generally speaking if you asked the opposition whether they wanted to play against him or not, it'd probably be not."
After Thursday night's performance, Fonua's place should have been secured for this week's fixture against the Panthers, but the club have dropped him to the Intrust Super Premiership after he arrived almost an hour late to Sunday's training session because he overslept.
So fans will have to wait at least another week before they see their new cult hero in NRL action.
Segeyaro steps up
Fonua wasn't the only former Super League star to stand out in Round 10. Former Leeds hooker James Segeyaro put in a memorable performance for Cronulla, to help his side beat Canberra 24-16.
Segeyaro, who played for only 32 minutes, made his presence known. In the dying stages of the game, he took an intercept before offloading to Valentine Holmes, who secured the win with a late try.
With the retirement of Cameron Smith from representative rugby league, Queensland are searching for a new number nine. Could Segeyaro be the man to fill the void?
The 27-year-old has made his desire to play in the State of Origin known, in 2015 he represented the Prime Minister's XIII.
But will Kevin Walters pick Segeyaro over the likes of Andrew McCullough, Jake Friend or Jake Granville?
Fifita hits back
Staying with the Sharks game against the Raiders. During their indigenous round Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita has called out a social media user who racially abused him during their win.
"On the weekend I was passed this tweet to me after the game and they said it was when I dropped the ball over the line." Fifita wrote on Instagram.
"I have 1 message to all fans and people who just love to watch footy. Say no to racism, it's a harsh world we live in but thought I would name and shame this person. Online Social bullying is 1 of the biggest killers in the world."
The 28-year old's post received hundreds of positive replies in support, with the NRL looking into the incident.