In light of Justin Olam being voted the best centre in The Daily Telegraph's NRL poll, Cameron Smith has heaped praise on his former teammate.
Helping the Storm to reach their 19 game winning streak, Olam received 34 per cent of votes from the fans to claim the top spot ahead of Sydney's Joey Manu on 26 per cent.
In an interview on SEN 1170’s Breakfast with Vossy, Smith explained why it is such a great achievement for the Papua New Guinean.
“I’m extremely happy for him, he’s a very humble guy, very intelligent young fella,” said the former Storm captain.
“When he turned up he was a raw boned type of football player.
“Then under the guidance of Craig (Bellamy) and the coaching that he received down there, he’s now turned into who the fans consider the best centre in the game.
“It’s fantastic to see the story from when he was a young fella and the way he lived back in PNG in his village and how he got to play rugby league.
“It’s a great story and through a lot of hard work too, it’s well deserved.”
Another great part of Olam’s story is when he scored the opening try in the Grand Final last season, Smith explained how much that try would’ve meant for his country back home.
“Could you imagine the scenes up there when he scored that try,” Smith said.
“We used to talk to 'Juzzy' a lot about where he grew up and what it’s like there.
“He said for those big matches, Grand Finals or State of Origin in particular, one village would organise with the surrounding villages, and when I say surrounding villages the space between one village is one or two hour walk.
“One village would have a TV and all the surrounding villages would come to that one central village to watch a game of football.
“There would be 80 or 100 people gathered around one television to watch that.
“I can only imagine what it was like, it would’ve erupted when he scored that try.”
Listen to the full chat with here: