NRL to honour Cameron Smith's appearance record

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Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith will receive a special medal from the NRL this weekend when he breaks the competition's appearance record.

The veteran Queensland and Australia hooker is set to play his 356th NRL game when minor premiers Melbourne take on Parramatta Eels on Saturday in a qualifying final.

Smith will move past retired Brisbane Broncos great Darren Lockyer as the league's most experienced player.

Like Lockyer, all of Smith's NRL outings have come with one club. 

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said: "This is quite simply an extraordinary achievement.

"He [Smith] has been an incredible player over the course of his long career with Melbourne, but more than that, he has been a wonderful leader and an ambassador for rugby league.

"It will be a privilege to be in Melbourne to be a part of the celebrations for this momentous achievement. As a game, we felt it was necessary to honour the achievement with something unique.

"The game owes Cameron an enormous debt of gratitude and on behalf of the NRL, I congratulate him on this magnificent achievement."

Smith's medal will be the first of its kind presented to an NRL player but the league intends to replicate the concept for "further significant records in the game".