Melbourne Storm skipper Cameron Smith has dropped a bombshell ahead of next week's grand final, declaring he could retire at the end of the season.
In an incredible sub-plot to the Storm's third consecutive grand final appearance, the Storm hooker admitted he's been thinking about the possibility of bowing out alongside Billy Slater at ANZ Stadium next Sunday afternoon.
"If we win it ... If we were to go and play well next week and win it … I don't know," Smith said.
"You'd consider it wouldn't you? Maybe. I don't know. I don't have a contract next year. I don't know. We’ll see what happens."
When probed on his comments, Smith tried to tone it down.
"Players finish up all the time," Smith said
"New players come in and you start writing about them. I've got all intentions of going around next year. If we were to win would you consider it, I don't know. We'll win first and then we’ll see what happens."
Smith was quite emotional after the game. While the rest of his teammates celebrated, Smith savoured the moment on his own before congratulating the Sharks.
"When the game finished, I was extremely happy just like the other boys, and I seen them jumping up and down and high-fiving.
"But I think I was just really extremely happy inside that I get another chance to play with Bill and spend another week with Hoff.
"I get another opportunity to go to a grand final – and they’re the reason why we play. You play the game because you love it and you like being around your teammates but when it's all said and done you want to be involved in grand finals and opportunities to win premierships. It was a moment I savoured when I knew that we were going."
Storm coach Craig Bellamy looked surprised with Smith's comments, admitting he was unsure whether Smith was on the verge of pulling the plug on an incredible career.
"They drop things on me all the time," Bellamy said.
"Sometimes they are serious sometimes they ain't. Losing one of them is bad enough we don't want to be losing both of them. So zip it up boys."