Cameron Smith expects Wests Tigers skipper Aaron Woods to be at the forefront NSW captaincy plans for next year’s State of Origin series.
The curtain will be drawn on Blues leader Paul Gallen’s State of Origin career in Wednesday night’s game three clash at ANZ Stadium and Maroons leader Smith likes Woods’ chances of getting the NSW job.
“Aaron Woods is a club captain at the moment,” Smith said.
“I would dare say he would be well in the mix to take over.”
While Gallen will retire from the Origin arena, Smith says speculation about a departure for the Blues’ 2014 series-winning coach Laurie Daley’s future is off the mark.
Craig Bellamy is the only Blues coach in Origin history to have not been sacked after two consecutive series defeats.
But Smith said he felt for Daley as Queensland planned for a fifth Origin series whitewash.
“I think he is a great guy and a wonderful coach – he understands the game,” Smith said.
“He was one of the best players to have played our game, particularly at Origin level.
“Whether he stays or goes is totally out of our control.
“But he is good enough to stay there and coach them.”
Smith said Queensland were bracing for an impact from fullback James Tedesco, the latest rookie Daley has picked for the 2016 series.
“He has got some youth coming through at the moment – Jack Bird and Tyson Frizell,” he said.
“And Tedesco, he’s an extremely dangerous player.
“We’ve had a look at him this week and put into place a few things that may minimise the impact of his game.
“If he gets plenty of opportunities he will really hurt us.”