Bellamy gives Smith Origin blessing amid return rumours
Melbourne Storm head coach Craig Bellamy said he will not stand in Cameron Smith's way if the former Queensland captain wants to make a State of Origin return.
Smith retired from the Origin arena last year after 42 appearances for the Maroons, however, rumours have claimed the veteran Storm captain could come out of representative retirement.
Queensland have been hit by injuries with Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend and Manly Sea Eagles half-back Daly Cherry-Evans among fitness concerns, while the Maroons have lost Smith, Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston and skipper Greg Inglis to retirement.
Amid speculation 35-year-old Storm star Smith could make a comeback, Bellamy told reporters on Thursday: "If Cameron wanted to play Origin again, he'd do so with my blessing and I imagine the club would feel the same.
"With what he's done for our club and the game in general if that's what he wanted to do I wouldn't stand in his way."
"If I was Kevvie [Maroons head coach Kevin Walters] I'd be really keen for him to be playing," Bellamy continued.
"Over two series they've lost a lot of key position players so there's been a heap of changes to their team so to get some stability back in there would be a good thing for them."
"I think he's playing well enough to play Origin without a doubt," Bellamy said. "I'm not quite sure he'd want to go back and play after making that break last year.
"I couldn't see him doing it but stranger things have happened in our game."
The 2019 State of Origin series gets underway in Brisbane on June 5, with New South Wales looking to defend their crown.