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Walters confirms Broncos interest as Smith breaks silence

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has confirmed his side has spoken with and can afford to sign Cameron Smith for the 2021 Telstra Premiership.

News Corp papers on Saturday night quoted Walters saying there had been contact with Smith but nothing was certain.

"Cam is aware we're interested," Walters said.

"We're not really sure if we can get him. It's a bit of a mystery for everyone.

"Obviously he is a great player and a great leader and every club in the NRL, if they had the space in their (salary) cap, would cater for him.

"Every club would love to have him on their books and for all we know he could still be running out for the Storm this season."

Smith is yet to announce whether he intends to play on in the NRL, with Melbourne still to hear from him.

He has also been linked to the Titans and Broncos.

Earlier this week Smith was photographed training on his own on the Gold Coast, sparking a fresh round of discussion over his future.

In the surest sign yet Melbourne have moved on, the Storm this week named Dale Finucane and Jesse Bromwich to serve as captains for 2021.

On Saturday night on Fox League, Titans Head of Performance and Culture Mal Meninga again stated his club had not held any talks with Smith.

Smith spoke publicly for this first time on his future at leadership luncheon on Friday, insisting he was yet to speak to any prospective suitors.

But on the same day Gold Coast sources confirmed to NRL.com they have the best part of $600,000 of salary cap space free for 2021, Smith could not rule out pulling the boots on again for what be a remarkable 20th NRL season.

"I’ve got a big decision to make," Smith said when interviewed on stage by 7News at the Alexandra Headland Surf Lifesaving Club.

"It’s a strange one. I feel physically really good. I still enjoy footy.

"I enjoy training and enjoy being part of a team but I’ve got a big decision to make.

"I haven’t spoken to anyone at a club. The only person involved in footy I’ve spoken to is Craig Bellamy. I haven’t spoken to any organisation."

I feel physically really good. I still enjoy footy.

Cameron Smith

Adding to the intrigue, Smith attended the Titans' trial against Burleigh at Pizzey Park on Friday night as a spectator.

Smith's comments come a day after Meninga's cryptic response to continued Titans links for the champion hooker, labelling it the "$550,250 question" at Thursday's Fox League launch.

NRL.com understands that figure is around what the Gold Coast still have free in their salary cap with one top 30 roster spot left as well.

Club sources have indicated interest in Smith if he does want to play on, with the prospect of a March or April signing possible on a pro-rata rate with their free cap space.

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The Broncos freed up a similar amount by releasing Andrew McCullough to St George Illawarra this week, and have publicly rolled out a welcome mat for Smith to land at Red Hill.

"I can’t leave my house without someone wondering where I'm going," Smith said of the ongoing hype.

"I went to kick the footy down at the local club the other day and there was a front-page story the next day saying I had signed with the Titans."

Smith has moved his family to the Gold Coast after leading Melbourne to a stunning 2020 title despite being based out of the Sunshine Coast due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Victorian capital's latest lockdown meant Smith replaced Bellamy as guest speaker at the Alexandra Headland Surf Club on Friday, with his old coach instead in Melbourne announcing Jesse Bromwich and Dale Finucane as his captaincy replacements at the Storm.

Bellamy said he spoke with Smith on Friday morning "but did not even talk about" his future.

While Melbourne have long planned to be without the iconic No.9 in 2021, Bellamy did concede he would like to give Smith a proper farewell given his stunning contribution across a record 430 NRL games.

"We'd love to be able to do that without a doubt," Bellamy said of a Storm send-off.

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"But until he makes that announcement ... he'll always be a very, very important part of this club.

"Cameron deserves as much time as he needs to make a decision and make an announcement and we will back him all the way.

"It's looking more and more unlikely that he's going to play but I don't know so we're just trying to prepare for this season with the players we've got."