Set to become the first Australian player to play 400 NRL games, Cameron Smith has finally put pen to paper with the Melbourne Storm.
A polarising figure in the rugby league landscape, Smith’s new deal with the Storm will run for two seasons.
Although his signing was key for the Storm, Smith was adamant that re-signing a young core around him was an important first step.
“We had some talented young guys coming off contract with the club looking to attain or extend their contract,” he said.
“I recognised that was important and I was wary of that – there is no use going in and signing a contract and having no quality players around me.
A special player and a one club man with the Storm, the club praised him for just how much he has put in for them.
“Cameron made it clear to us through the season he wanted to play on in 2019 but he saw it was more important to secure the future for the likes of Cameron Munster before him,” Donaghy said.
“Being a one-club player is rare in footy these days and it’s a credit to Cameron for sticking with us.
“There’s no doubt having Cameron around to help with the development of our next wave of players will be of enormous value to the team and the Club more broadly.”
Coming off one of his best seasons fitness wise, Smith felt like he was ready and able to go for another two seasons.
“I was feeling really good after the 2018 season… as good as I’ve ever felt and that was the reason I asked the club for two years,” Smith said.
“There was no haggling or pushing the club into a decision, I just posed the question.
“If it was a dead-set no from the club I would have been happy to go ahead with the 12 months and reassess during this season.”