Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns has put the heat on Cameron Smith. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns has put the heat on Cameron Smith. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Joey urges Smith to make shock return

NRL Immortal Andrew Johns says Cameron Smith must answer Queensland's crisis call, with the Maroons left without a hooker a month out from State of Origin.

Probable rake Jake Friend went down with a bicep injury, leaving a big hole in the Maroons' spine.

Johns, a NSW great, said the sight of a retired Smith returning to the fold would become rugby league folklore.

"I think he has to come back," Johns told Wide World of Sports.

"Queensland's put the SOS out for Cameron. He's the greatest footballer I've ever seen, the best player I've ever seen, and especially at that Origin level, he just controls it so well.

"They don't even know who's going to be their captain, so you can imagine the lift for these young players when Cameron comes back. And it adds so much excitement to the series.

"I hope he does come back.

"From a NSW point of view, I hope he doesn't, but from a rugby league lover and someone who loves the game so much, I hope he does come back."

NSW has no interest in seeing this bloke again. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
NSW has no interest in seeing this bloke again. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

Paul "Fatty" Vautin, on the other hand, thinks Smith's legacy as a Queensland representative is at stake should he return to the Origin stage.

"The call would have been made to Cameron ... but I personally wouldn't do it," the the Channel 9 commentator and former league star said said on Triple M this week.

"He's 35 and he's probably still up to it. I was there when they came off against the Warriors and he didn't have a bead of sweat on him - that's just how he rolls.

"I don't think he'll do it ... if he decides to return, he's putting his entire legacy on the line."

News Corp Australia

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