Smith will rise to Origin challenge: Hagan

Queensland assistant coach Michael Hagan says captain Cameron Smith will rise above one of the greatest challenges he has faced in Wednesday night’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane.

Smith has been left reeling after copping scathing criticism from Alex McKinnon over comments following the tackle that ended the Knights forward’s NRL career in March last year.

“Origin is always tough. The events of the last few days just makes the challenge even greater,” Hagan said.

“He’s been through a fair bit but I think he is mentally stronger than most and he will lead the team like he usually does and the team will respond accordingly.”

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