NRL's Smith finally calls it quits - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL's Smith finally calls it quits

By Wayne Heming 02/05/2006 09:13:37 PM Comments (0)

Darren Smith, one of rugby league's truly great survivors, has finally called it quits.

Smith notified Easts Tigers on Tuesday he was stepping down as a player and the club's chief executive.

Smith, who played for the Bulldogs, Brisbane Broncos and St Helens, started his career with Easts Tigers playing 62 games before he was recruited to the Bulldogs by the late Peter Moore.

While playing in the UK in 2004 he was stunningly recalled by coach Chris Anderson to play in Australia's Tri-Nations final.

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett turned to one of his favourite players, using him to great effect in 2004-2005 as a utility player to cover for injuries and representative duty.

Smith rejoined Easts Tigers when he returned from the UK, playing another 37 games for the Brisbane club.

His retirement will take effect immediately, leaving him with 99 appearances for the club where it all started.

"It will be one of my fondest career memories coming back from England to the Tigers' den to help them reach the Queensland Cup grand final in 2004," said Smith, who will turn 38 later this year.

Smith had been named by coach Michael Booth to play his 100th first grade game for the Tigers before his retirement announcement.

All up Smith played 428 first grade games for the Bulldogs (185), Brisbane (113), St Helens (31) and Brisbane Asks (99).

Throw in 22 State of Origins for Queensland, three Super League Tri-Series games and 12 Tests (seven Super League) and you have a wonderful career.

The Smith name will not be lost though with brother Jason, 36, still going around with the Canberra Raiders.

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