Smith and Slater pose during the Melbourne Storm Fan Day at Gosch's Paddock on October 1, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Smith and Slater pose during the Melbourne Storm Fan Day at Gosch's Paddock on October 1, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Maroons legends to turn bronze

Queensland legend Cameron Smith admits it feels a "little bit funny" to be immortalised in bronze, especially when he's still playing the game.

Two statues are set to be created of Smith and former teammate and Maroons great Billy Slater later this year and will be placed adjacent to their spiritual Melbourne home, AAMI Park.

The Storm confirmed the news on Wednesday, announcing internationally renowned artists Gillie and Marc will be behind the design and production of the statues.

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Smith and Slater pose during the Melbourne Storm Fan Day at Gosch's Paddock on October 1, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images
Smith and Slater pose during the Melbourne Storm Fan Day at Gosch's Paddock on October 1, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The 34-year-old Smith will lace up the boots for his 19th NRL season this year and admitted he never expected to see himself immortalised in bronze.

"It's a little bit funny talking about a statue about yourself, particularly when you're still playing the game," Smith told the Storm website.

"Usually when you look at statues, they're of people long retired from the particular sport that they've been involved in, or the particular profession that they've been involved in.

"It's nice to have the opportunity to have one. It's something I never expected to happen in my lifetime."

Smith has an incomparable list of accolades, having led the Storm to seven grand finals and Queensland to a record 12 Origin series wins.

 

Queenslanders so loved they’ll have statues in Melbourne! Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Queenslanders so loved they’ll have statues in Melbourne! Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

 

He said he was glad to have his "close mate" Slater recognised with a statue as well.

"The most special part about it is that Billy Slater is involved as well," Smith said.

"(He's) one of my closest mates, a guy I was lucky enough to achieve some great things on the footy field alongside of, so he's going to be beside me as well, which is going to be really special."

Slater is regarded as one of the greatest fullbacks in the NRL, with 31 Origin games and 30 Kangaroos matches.

The two-time premiership winner is also the second highest NRL tryscorer in the history of the game.

The statues are expected to be unveiled later this season.


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