Kevin Walters predicts Queensland skipper Cameron Smith may one day be sitting in his chair and his future lies in coaching.
Smith added to his legend on Wednesday night when he produced a man-of-the-match effort to lead the Maroons to their 10th State of Origin series win against NSW in 11 years.
The most capped Origin player of all-time, he has been touted as Queensland’s greatest ever captain, with some judges deeming him to have eclipsed Darren Lockyer and Wally Lewis.
Walters paid him the ultimate compliment when he said Smith deserved to be spoken about in the same revenant tones as Lewis.
He said he had eased the pressure on him during his debut series as Maroons coach, and taken on some of the load what would normally fall on him during the opening two games.
Smith, 33, is expected to hang up his boots at the end of 2018 and Walters said he was destined for the coaching ranks.
“At Origin level, Wally Lewis was my favourite player growing up as a kid and I always had him up on a pedestal but (Smith) is up there with him now,” Walters said on Fox Sports on Thursday.
“Some of the things he does off the ball is just incredible.
“His halftime speech to the players was just incredible, the way he spoke to them and addressed them.
“He’s going to be a coach down the track, surely. I think he’s doing a lot of it now. He’s just a great guy to have in your team.”