Titans open door for shock Smith move
The Courier-Mail has revealed the Titans are ready to throw their hat in the ring for Smith as a specialist coach or even player if he decides to continue his glittering NRL career in 2021.
Smith is expected to announce his retirement from the NRL imminently, possibly at the launch of his autobiography, The Storm Within, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Monday.
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But if the 37-year-old shocks the NRL and decides to play on into a 20th season, the Titans have not ruled out making an audacious bid to sign him.
Smith and his family have been living on the Gold Coast since Melbourne's NRL grand final win on October 25 after buying a house during the season.
Melbourne Storm figures believe Smith will retire from playing and are hoping he will remain involved with the club he made a record 430 appearances for in either a coaching, consultancy or board member capacity.
Smith was coy when asked if he would entertain a move to the Titans, but admitted specialist coaching had an appeal to him.
"That's a fair way off my radar," Smith said of the Titans.
"If I'm playing I'll be playing and if not I'll have to find a job somewhere.
"I'd like to think that I've probably done a little bit of coaching without really knowing or realising that I've been doing it.
"I've actually enjoyed helping those (young Melbourne) guys become consistent first graders and that's why I was extremely happy the other night after that grand final. I was able to help those younger guys experience winning a premiership.
"Looking at what (Melbourne coach) Craig Bellamy has done really closely over the last 18 years, I don't think I want to be a head coach. I don't want the stress.
"But I could certainly see myself working as more of a specialist coach with young halves or working with leadership groups or something like that.
"That's not as stressful as being the head coach with a camera on you all game like in the coaches' box."
The Storm are desperate to keep Smith involved with the club and chairman Matt Tripp is planning to fly to the Gold Coast to meet with him as soon as Queensland's border opens to Victoria.
The biggest advantage for the Titans is geography and the club's steady rise if Smith continues to live on the Gold Coast.
While the Storm are open to designing an off-field role for Smith, the proximity of the Titans could play a role in his future.
The Titans' head of culture Mal Meninga also has a relationship with Smith, having coached him for more than a decade in the Queensland and Australia teams.
Titans coach Justin Holbrook said he had not spoken to Smith, but admitted he would add immense value to the club in any role.
"I still expect it to be retirement or playing at Melbourne," Holbrook said.
"I still think he could play at Melbourne. With his age and experience he wouldn't be required back there until the end of January. I am only guessing.
"I haven't spoken to him. I'd be thinking it was unlikely he'd end up here. Until we know what he is doing I don't know.
"He would be great to utilise with the player he has been. He would be good.
"The only reservation around that is we have heard the Melbourne chairman say whether he plays or not he has got a job there.
"Without speaking to him and getting an idea on what he wants to do, I don't know what to say."
In his book, Smith says he did not want to jeopardise the futures of emerging Storm hookers Harry Grant and Brandon Smith by playing on in Melbourne next year.
That effectively brings an end to Smith's Melbourne career and Grant said he was left stunned by the revelation.
"That's pretty hard to take, Cam saying that," he said.
"I'm going back down to Melbourne. I think we start pre-season January 4. I'll get a good break, back home to Yeppoon and then get back into it."
Originally published as Titans open door for shock Smith move