Smith happy to wait on call on NRL future

Melbourne's Cameron Smith is no closer to making a decision on his NRL future as the finals loom.
Melbourne's Cameron Smith is no closer to making a decision on his NRL future as the finals loom.

Cameron Smith would have no qualms delaying a call on his NRL future until after this year's grand final but says any decision is not reliant on going out a winner.

Smith reiterated on Monday he was no closer to deciding if and where he will play on next year, adamant there never had been a timeline set by him or Melbourne.

The NRL's games record holder insists he is not being pushed by the Storm or understudies Brandon Smith and Harry Grant to make a call.

It means the immortal-in-waiting could leave the field for the last time without knowing, before making a decision even a month down the track.

"If this year is to be my last year, and I make that decision post the season, that's what it is," Smith said before Saturday's qualifying final against Parramatta.

"And everyone around me is comfortable with that too and they are supportive of that.

"I'd like to think it's not affecting the way I play or the way my teammates are playing. And that's all that matters to us at the moment."

It comes after Smith ended the past two seasons without confirming he would play on, before ultimately re-signing.

On both those occasions the Storm fell short from winning the title, losing out in the 2019 preliminary final and 2018 decider.

The 37-year-old Smith said while a potential premiership this year would form part of his thinking, it was not the be all and end all.

"Maybe, maybe not, that would come into consideration," Smith said.

"But winning the competition wouldn't be the deciding factor at all.

"If we were lucky enough to get the grand final win, when that full-time siren went it wouldn't determine anything in my mind.

"At the moment I'm undecided."

The only thing Smith is certain on is that there will be no State of Origin return, ruling out a Queensland comeback this year.

But his club future could still have ramifications.

Brandon Smith has been waiting in the wings for three years, while Grant is due to return from a Wests Tigers loan deal as a Maroons Origin contender.

Both the club and captain are adamant the emerging duo will still be at the Storm next year regardless, but rival clubs continue to watch with interest.

"I have spoken to Harry on numerous occasions this year and at no stage has he ever asked me the question about what I am doing so he can sort his future," Smith said.

"He is committed to being in Melbourne next year no matter what.

"That's great for our club. We're guaranteed to have two quality No.9s in our team for a long time."

Smith's great form is also no doubt clouding his decision.

He remains the oldest player in the NRL, and has played more than 520 games when factoring in Tests and Origins.

But he is contributing as well as ever, setting up a career-high 17 tries this year and controlling the pace of the game better than anyone.

"That does make it a little bit more difficult. Given my form this year, I feel I'm playing well," he said.

"I'm certainly enjoying it as much as I have.

"It's funny I talk to a couple of my ex-teammates and the reason that they gave the game away is they knew, they just couldn't do anymore.

"At the moment I don't feel that way."

Australian Associated Press