Cameron Smith has retired from representative rugby league, finishing a career that included 11 wins in the last 12 State of Origin series for Queensland and leading Australia to two World Cup titles.
It means Queensland will need a new captain and hooker for the State of Origin series starting on June 6.
"That is something that I did think about when I was coming to my decision", Smith said when asked about whether he could extend his Storm career now.
With this year's Origin series looming large, the Maroons side suddenly has a good news/bad news situation on their hands.
"I probably started having thoughts about finishing up my representative career a year ago".
"From a personal point of view I would have loved to have played on for a lot longer but unfortunately we don't live in a ideal world and those things don't happen", Smith said.
"Looking back on it now I just don't think it's fair on myself, I don't think that's fair on my family and also my teammates back here at Melbourne Storm".
In that period he has missed just one game - the series opener in 2010 due to injury - and won a record 26 matches.
Seattle's Robinson Cano suspended 80 games for PED use
If history is any indicator, this will also significantly hamper (if not completely wipe out) his eventual Hall of Fame chances. As with all players who fail a PED test, Cano is no longer eligible for this year's postseason.
He played 56 tests for Australia, including wins in the 2013 and 2017 World Cup.
This comes after Jonathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk chose to retire from rep commitments at the end of previous year.
Fox Sports reports that Smith, along with Queensland coach Kevin Walters, will hold a press conference in Melbourne at 1pm this afternoon, where Smith will confirm he is walking away from Maroons and Kangaroos football effective immediately.
He hopes avoiding tours and extra duties will help him attend more family events with his wife and three children while also resting more.
"... I know he's been a great player, but most importantly a person for the game more than anything else".
"Respect, humility, all those things you like to see in people he shows that in every day of his life."
Smith admitted the lure of playing one last Origin game on the MCG and Suncorp Stadium made him think twice about playing on but in the end "the reasons for not playing outweighted the reasons for playing on". "I think his performance in game three of last year's Origin performance was one of the best I've seen of anyone at that level and that was at 34 years of age".
Smith's decision is likely to springboard Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough into contention for a Queensland debut, while Jake Granville of the Cowboys could be another option.