Smith: Legacy shouldn't hinge on Rugby League World Cup
Cameron Smith (AAP)
By Liam FitzGibbon
Australian skipper Cameron Smith believes the legacy of a group of modern-day Kangaroos greats should not hinge on success or failure in the Rugby League World Cup final.
Saturday's clash with New Zealand at Old Trafford could represent the final chance for the likes of 30-year-olds Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater to capture the one thing that has eluded them - World Cup glory.
With New Zealand claiming the trophy in 2008 and no tournament having been held prior to that since 2000, Australia's current squad doesn't feature a single World Cup winner.
While winning the title could be considered the final frontier in a journey for the likes of Smith, he says missing out won't tarnish his memories of sustained success.
"I believe I can speak on behalf of all the boys in the team in saying when our career comes to an end, whenever that may be, we're not going to look back and judge it off one match or one result," the Melbourne Storm star said on Wednesday.
"We'd like to think that we've done a fair few things over our careers in multiple matches that people can look back on.
"But we'd love to win it, there's no doubt about that."
While a bunch of over-30s, also including Paul Gallen and Brent Tate, is expected to be too old by the time the next World Cup is held in 2017, Smith hasn't given up hope of playing in the tournament as a 34-year-old.
The champion hooker therefore insists his age is not a motivating factor heading into the final.
"I certainly haven't put a date on the last chance I have to play in a World Cup, so hopefully it won't be the last," Smith said.