World Cup-winning skipper Cameron Smith has returned home to Melbourne – but without the cup and the answer the Storm faithful want to hear.
Smith said the long flight home was a chance to think about the team’s achievements but at the end of a long season, he would be resting rather than re-committing to the club.
“It’s definitely time for me now to come home, put my feet up and have an opportunity to think about my future,” Smith said.
“I’ll reintroduce myself to my wife and three kids… and sit down and have a chat about what’s best.”
Smith said he’d caught Storm coach Craig Bellamy’s comments that the club were keen to know and, while pledging his efforts to the club “that means the world” to him in 2014, he couldn’t commit to a decision on his playing future before the season kicked off.
“I think Craig would like that and I think a lot of people at the club would like that … but I’m not gonna rush it because people need an answer.”
Storm team-mates Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk also returned home with Smith, insisting they would be right for the season ahead despite their regular off-season break cut in half.
“If I had to play next week, I’d be able to play but I’m looking forward to a bit of summer, we didn’t get much in the UK,” Cronk said.
Slater suffered a knee injury late in the tournament but said he “iced it for two weeks straight” to be fit for the final.
He was greeted by his wife and young kids, complete with home-made ‘Welcome Home Daddy’ signs.
“They surprised me here today. I thought they’d be at kindy,” he said.
As for the cup, it didn’t board the flight to Melbourne with the skipper, instead diverting from Dubai to Sydney.