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Sport NRL 2020: Cooper Cronk makes huge call on Cameron Smith’s future as Storm chairman fires up at Broncos

19:08  01 august  2020
19:08  01 august  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

Storm vs Knights: Cameron Smith forced from the field in first half with AC-joint shoulder injury

  Storm vs Knights: Cameron Smith forced from the field in first half with AC-joint shoulder injury Storm vs Knights: Cameron Smith forced from the field in first half with AC-joint shoulder injuryThe veteran Melbourne hooker was already in vintage form in the first fourty minutes at Sunshine Coast Stadium.

The Brisbane Broncos have openly admitted they want to sign him for next season and Melbourne Storm chairman Matt Tripp has vowed to do whatever it takes to keep Cameron Smith in Bleak City.

But Melbourne Storm legend Cooper Cronk has predicted his longtime team-mate will hang up the boots on his record-setting career at the end of the 2020 NRL campaign.

Smith comes off contract at the end of the year and is yet to make a call on whether to return for an unprecedented 20th NRL campaign.

Melbourne blindsided by Brisbane's interest in luring Cameron Smith home

  Melbourne blindsided by Brisbane's interest in luring Cameron Smith home The Melbourne Storm have been blindsided by reports the Brisbane Broncos will consider trying to lure Cameron Smith home to finish his career in the River City. Smith's future has been top of the agenda this year, with the eight-time Dally M Hooker of the Year uncontracted beyond this season with his potential retirement plans still unknown. The impending return of emerging hooker Harry Grant, who has been a breakout star on loan at the Tigers has spurned suggestions Smith could be preparing to hand over the baton.

The Storm have publicly declared the decision on his playing future is the 37-year-old’s to make.

MORE: Hasler confirms more shocking injury news for Sea Eagles

But privately they want an answer from the veteran No.9 sooner than later, with boom youngster Harry Grant set to return from his loan stint with Wests Tigers next season.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold, a former Storm assistant, on Wednesday confirmed the club’s interest in signing Smith for 2021.

Speaking in response to the Broncos’ plot to poach the legendary Queenslander, Tripp this week told SEN he hoped to ‘either renegotiate a contract for Cameron as a player’ or secure the 422-game veteran services at the Storm ‘in some capacity for hopefully many years to come’.

NRL 2020: Andrew Johns, Phil Gould at odds over breakout star Harry Grant’s future

  NRL 2020: Andrew Johns, Phil Gould at odds over breakout star Harry Grant’s future Grant is nine games into his loan deal with Wests Tigers and is due to return to the Storm next season.The 22-year-old has been a revelation since joining the Tigers on a historic loan deal for the remainder of the 2020 season in Round 3.

The multi-millionaire doubled down in an interview with News Corp, declaring he would ‘get the gloves off and be up for that fight’ if the Broncos attempt to poach either Smith or coach Craig Bellamy.

He added it would be disastrous for the Storm is both Smith and Bellamy, who has suggested 2021 will be his final season as a coach, walk away at the same time.

Cronk, who spent 14 seasons at the Storm with Smith and Bellamy, predicted his old boss will walk away at the end of his current contract.

“I don’t think Craig would go anywhere, I think Craig will finish up after 2021, I think he’s sort of said that a little bit in the public,” Cronk told Fox League.

The former Storm and Sydney Roosters No.7 reportedly fell out with Smith in recent years and admits he has no insight into his ex-skipper’s thinking.

But Cronk boldly predicted Smith will finally call time on his historic career at the end of the current campaign.

“With Cameron I’ve got no idea and I don’t think Cameron gives two hoots what I think, but for me I think he retires at the end of this year,” he said.

“I think he’s been the best player this game has ever seen and knowing him a little bit, he wants to win, he’s desperate to win and go out with a big finish.

“And Melbourne Storm are up there at the top (of the NRL ladder), Penrith Panthers are showing their hand but Storm are still there fighting for every inch.

“So look, he’s achieved everything in the game – he’s probably got the record for breaking the most records in rugby league.

“I think he retires at the end of this year, that’s my personal opinion and I don’t think he cares two hoots like I said, but I think Craig Bellamy and Cameron Smith will finish with the Melbourne Storm.”

David Fifita signs three-year contract with Gold Coast Titans .
Gold Coast has secured the services of backrower David Fifita on a three-year deal from next season. The 20-year-old Broncos star has been the subject of a long negotiation process as the Titans pulled out all the stops in their chase for his signature. That pursuit has now paid off, with Gold Coast confirming the signing on Saturday. MORE: Lockyer publicly pushes Anthony Seibold to consider Darius Boyd switch "I am extremely excited by David committing to our club for the next 3 years," Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.

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