Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith hasn’t ruled out playing on into 2019 and possibly past the 400-game NRL mark.
The Storm hooker will play his 335th game in Sunday’s grand final against Cronulla and is contemplating extending his glittering career until he is 36.
Contracted until the end of 2018, the durable No.9 is expected to write his name into the record books late next year when he is expected to pass Darren Lockyer’s record games mark of 355.
While Smith was coy on his long-term future at Thursday’s pre-grand final media conference at the Sydney Opera House, he didn’t strike a line through the idea of playing on into an 18th season.
Asked about the prospect of becoming the first man to pass the 400-game mark – a feat once considered insurmountable – Smith was open to the prospect.
“It’s a huge number isn’t it?” Smtih said.
“To get there, I’m going to have to play on for quite a while.
“You speak to the older guys and they’re just numbers – they creep up quite quickly. It’s not like you sit down every year and tick them off as they go.
“It only felt like yesterday that I was pulling on the purple jersey for the first time back in 2002. I’ll just keep working hard and see how long the career goes.”
Sunday will be Smith’s 30th finals appearance, his fifth grand final and he is in search of his fourth grand final win.
The 33-year-old has promised to play on as long as his body would allow and, at this rate, shows no sign of slowing down.
Aside from having ankle surgery in the 2015 pre-season, he has had no major problems with his body.
Aside from his rookie year in 2002, he has never played less than 20 matches in a season.
“I’m looking forward to another two seasons with the Storm after this year,” Smith said.
“And whatever happens after that, happens.”