Former State of Origin hooker Michael Ennis believes Cameron Smith will "lob" at the Titans or Broncos this season amid Mal Meninga's claims he has not been in contact with the star about joining Gold Coast.
The ongoing uncertainty around the Smith's next steps in the game intensified on Tuesday when the 37-year-old was photographed training at a local training field on the Gold Coast.
Ennis was on deck at Fox League's season launch at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday alongside Meninga, who is the head of culture at the Titans.
Meninga casually deflected questions around Smith's future, saying it's the "$550,250" question as to whether he would take the final spot on the club's roster.
"I haven't spoken to Cameron, he's the hardest man in the world to get a hold of," Meninga told a packed media room.
"It's all speculation. Everyone assumes he's coming to the Titans. He's not on the radar.
"You should ask Kevvie [Walters] about Cameron so I don't have to answer these questions anymore."
Ennis, who faced off against Smith on 28 occasions at the NRL - including the 2016 grand final - and at representative level, told NRL.com his gut feeling is that the veteran would play on into a 20th season.
It's all speculation. Everyone assumes he's coming to the Titans.Mal Meninga
"Mal's not giving much away but I don't think he would either, it's a pretty important signing," Ennis said.
"If you look at Mal and Kevvie who have had great relationships with Cameron for such a long time, it's a respect thing.
"He's obviously not sure with what he wants to do. None of us have an indication, we're all in the dark but those guys would allow him that privacy.
"When he's ready he'll tell them he is. I think his services are absolutely still sought after and they'd jump at it for sure.
"I've got no doubt if he lobbed up at the Titans and played behind Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and David Fifita that he could do some damage and transform them.
"And If it was at the Broncos next to guys like Tevita Pangai and Matt Lodge too … plus the pressure he'd take off young Tom Dearden and Anthony Milford, it would be incredibly valuable.
"He would leave a massive mark, even if it were only 5-6 months."
Ennis added Smith would only need "4-6 weeks" of training to get back into shape with match fitness the biggest key.
"He knows what it takes," he said.
"He doesn't need miles in his legs, he's got that and they've got guys at both those clubs who are established dummy-halves that if Cameron didn't play a full game for the first month or six weeks … they've got enough quality there.
"I thought he wouldn't play after last year, winning the grand final and the mental drain of being away from home for such a long time.
"But how well he played and how much he enjoyed that last month … put it this way, I wasn't down at the park throwing a footy around when I retired … it was game over."
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Smith's former Maroons and Kangaroos teammate Johnathan Thurston believed the Storm legend should run around again if he so desired.
"Well if you're still one of the top two or three players in the game, why would you retire?" he said in Townsville in the lead-up to Saturday's Harvey Norman All Stars game.
"I've left about 10 voicemails on his phone. I'm off him at the moment - he doesn't return my calls.
"They [Gold Coast] have recruited extremely well already with Tino and Fifita as well. They've got their systems in place. I expect them to be between five and eight on the ladder but if Smithy goes there, they're a top four team without a doubt.
"Could you imagine him bringing that forward pack onto the ball like he does at Melbourne. Please. As a half you'd be rubbing your hands saying how good is this."
Titans in 2021
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