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“Who do we keep?”: How Cameron Smith was almost let go by the Storm


Cameron Smith has enjoyed a remarkable career with the Melbourne Storm in a glorious 18-year stint littered with team and individual accolades.

But things could have been a lot different for one of the game's greatest ever players.

Storm great Robbie Kearns revealed how close Smith came to being let go by the club in what was a classic sliding doors moment.

“When he first came on the scene, his very first game for the Storm he was playing at half-back,” Kearns told SEN's The Storm Hour.

“We had young Marty Turner who had just been in a car accident. He (Smith) played half-back and he got benched just after half-time... I think they took him off the field because he wasn’t performing at half-back.

“He found his position at hooker and it was at a real delicate stage for the Melbourne Storm, because we had a guy playing for us previously at hooker called Richard Swain.

“He won the previous two Player of the Year awards at the Melbourne Storm and it was basically a toss up there and then … who do we keep? Richard Swain or the young gun in Cameron Smith, who had three of four clubs chasing him at the time.

“The supporters of the club were going to torch the place down, they thought: ‘how could you?’ Richard Swain was just a lovely guy; a wonderful guy off the field and a champion on it.

“I always take the mickey out of Richard Swain, saying they definitely made the wrong choice.”

Smith, 35, is approaching 400 NRL games and became the highest point scorer in the competition’s history in the Storm's six-point win over the Cowboys.

Melbourne put their undefeated start on the line against the Sydney Roosters in a mouthwatering Grand Final rematch at AAMI Park on Friday night.

Cameron Smith Melbourne Storm

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