Kangaroos and Queensland captain Cameron Smith is set to announce his retirement from representative rugby league football, effective immediately.
The 34-year-old Smith dropped the bombshell news at a Melbourne media conference on Tuesday, saying he'd been thinking about it since last year and "now is the right time for me to finish up".
"As a kid growing up in Queensland, it was always a dream of mine to play for the Maroons, and to be able to achieve that and play alongside so many great players and work with passionate coaches like Mal and Kevvie has been unbelievable", he said.
His exit coincides with the representative retirements of Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk, which were announced past year.
This means Smith won't play in the upcoming Origin series, leaving a hole in the No. 9 jersey for Queensland.
He also paid tribute to his wife Barbara and his children.
Smith has won two NRL premierships with the Storm.
"In my two years as Head Coach, he's been invaluable from every angle, from leadership and stability to game plans; he's been as good as anyone that's been involved".
"I thought his performance in Game 3 of a year ago was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level, and at 34 that speaks volumes", Walters said.
Greg Inglis is widely seen as the most likely option to replace Smith as Queensland captain, with Inglis and NSW skipper Boyd Cordner in the frame to lead the national team.
Smith admitted the lure of playing one last Origin game on the MCG and Suncorp Stadium made him think twice about playing on but in the end "the reasons for not playing outweighted the reasons for playing on".
As a stalwart of the Maroons, Smith oversaw the greatest period of dominance ever seen in the series, with Queensland winning 11 out of the past 12 series.
With North Queensland languishing near the bottom of the NRL ladder, prop Scott has been indifferent form.
A playmaking hooker and goalkicker, Smith took over as Queensland and Australia captain in 2012 and was voted the Rugby League International Federation's player of the year.
"Leaves a great legacy for the QLD Maroons and Kangaroos".
The underlying theme of Smith's entire career is he is a victor.