Australia and Queensland skipper Cameron Smith called time on his representative career on Tuesday just weeks away from the State of Origin series opener. I started having some small thoughts about finishing up my representative career a year ago.
Smith said it was the "right time" to exit the representative arena.
Smith said he'd started thinking about it previous year, when he was unable to back up and play for the Storm the weekend after each Origin game as he'd done in the past.
"Looking back at it now I don't think that's fair on myself, I don't think that's fair on my family and also my teammates back at Melbourne Storm".
He said regardless of whether or not he was the Queensland captain he would do his best to fill the leadership void left by the retirement of Cronk and Johnathan Thurston from their side.
He captained Australia during the 2013 and 2017 World Cups, winning both.
His decision comes on the heels of similar retirements by fellow greats Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston late previous year.
Smith thanked his Storm coach Craig Bellamy for his support during his representative career, as well as his former Maroons mentors Mal Meninga and Wayne Bennett.More news: Japan's economic system shrinks in January-March quarter
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The 34-year-old didn't rule out taking on the job if it was offered, but said he would leave it in the hands of Queensland coach Kevin Walters.
"At no time did any other person's retirement or what the make up of the team this year come into my calculations", he said.
He also paid tribute to his wife Barbara and his children.
"We've been fortunate that Cam's been ultra-durable and he doesn't miss too many games", Slater said.
"Respect, humility, all those things you like to see in people he shows that in every day of his life."
"I thought his performance in Game III of past year was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level and at age 34 that speaks volumes", he said.
Smith said after failing to back from last year's State of Origin matches for the Storm was a sign to hang up the boots for Queensland and Australia.
Slater however looks more likely an option than Brisbane's Darius Boyd or North Queensland's Matt Scott.