You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Even on a day off from training, Australian captain Cameron Smith still fulfills commitments to promote the game.

Cameron Smith is a man in demand. I catch up with him in an apartment lobby on a Wednesday when the rest of the Kangaroos have a day off. But Smith is fulfilling commitments as a Telstra ambassador, shooting a commercial for a couple of hours. In between that he's got family commitments. Plus, he's parked his car out front and doesn't have much time.

The Melbourne Storm, Queensland and Australian captain has had a jam-packed year. After winning the Telstra Premiership in early October, he's hardly had time to rest before joining the Kangaroos and leading their World Cup preparations. 

"It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks since the grand final," he says.

"There was a lot on a week after the grand final, with club commitments, tidying up the season, reviews and commitments with public appearances, best and fairest presentations. The week after that, I went to Fiji with the Australian side for a warm-up game. 

"Not that it was a bad thing; we spent five days there and had the opportunity to take our families as well, so that was really nice to spend some time with them together. But it has been quite hectic – had about four days to put the feet up and relax a little bit."

Smith is friendly and laughs often throughout our conversation. Perhaps it keeps him sane with his intense workload of public appearances, media commitments not to mention actually training and playing rugby league. He is wearing a dark green Kangaroos polo shirt and from his tones you get the sense he's delighted to represent his country after 15 years playing professional football, and is extremely proud to lead this side. 

His Australian team will host England in the World Cup opener at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday. It's a place Smith knows well with the Melbourne Storm. Rugby league in Melbourne seems to have lifted its public profile over the years.

"Rugby league has grown so much in this town since I've first started," he says. 

"From a point where no-one knew really what the game was or much about the Melbourne Storm, didn't recognise any players, to now when our players when they go to the shops or go down the road to a cafe, people sing out to them and say 'g'day'. 

"The majority of people in Melbourne know who the Storm are and their standing in the game. It is great to have a non-traditionally rugby league town like Melbourne host the opening game of the World Cup, with the Kangaroos, it's fantastic. State of Origin here in 2015, World Cup opener here, another State of Origin here next year; it's going really well. I'm pleased the game is in a really strong position."

Milestone man

Smith broke a heap of milestones this year: most NRL games, wins, his 50th Test, 40th Origin, most goals, points-scoring records. He's 34 now. How does he keep his love of the game going in such a professional, structured environment?

"That's probably how I have maintained my love for the sport: tried to stay not so structured," he says. 

"I just try to keep it enjoyable and laid back in my approach to the game. I don't think about those things too much. When I arrive at training and out on the field, I have complete concentration to what I need to do, training hard and making sure my preparation is right. Other that than, I just try to enjoy my time at training or being around my team mates, or whatever it is, and try to keep things light-hearted when it is the right time. 

"Sport is extremely professional now with the amount of time we train, the amount of time we put into our diet, sleep, recovery methods, but when it is all said and done, it is still a game. It's the game you started playing since you were a little boy. And the reason why you started is to have fun. 

"I'm sure there is more expectation now, pressure to perform and get results. But if you're having fun and enjoying what you do, work hard, then results, expectations and performances take care of themselves."‌

Technology in sport

Players often have to spend time watching other games or debriefing their own performance. Smith uses the NRL Official App, created by Telstra, as part of his own analysis and as a tool in its own right. Some members of the team, who won't be named, also like watching their own performances.

"I know most of the team have the NRL app," Smith says. 

"I definitely use it. It's pretty handy to have because as soon as you finish the game, we can get off the field, do recovery, get home or if playing away from Melbourne, you can see vision of the game as soon you get home. You can view the game before you get back to doing any team stuff at training. So it's really handy to look at that. The boys don't mind looking at the highlights – especially when they're involved in them or scoring tries. 

"It's pretty cool – whenever we are, open the app up, have a look at vision not only of our game, but games around the country. When we're preparing for a game – a night before our game but there are other games around, we can watch those matches live on whatever devices we have."

Smith is one of the first in the country to get the new Telstra TV, which can stream a variety of movies, TV shows and documentaries and also lets you access NRL video content. When he's not watching or playing NRL, he likes to enjoy real-life documentaries.

"I enjoy watching real-life TV. The new Telstra TV gives me access to Netflix, Stan, Foxtel, and a huge variety of other services allowing me to find and watch the best documentaries out there."

The new Telstra TV will be available from October 31. Key features include Australia's first integrated live TV catch-up and on-demand search function, allowing users to search by title to discover where they can watch the content they love. A blended free-to-air and on-demand experience allows users to switch seamlessly from live TV to streamed content, and the Telstra TV app means you get the same brilliant user experience whether you're at home or on the go.

Telstra customers can get 20 per cent off Rugby League World Cup tickets for all games played in Australia.

Every Telstra Thanks World Cup ticket purchased goes into the draw to win 1 of 8 trips to the World Cup Final in Brisbane, with one winner picked from each Australian host city.


Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners