​Albury Thunder guest rates Cameron Smith the best player of modern era

IN TOWN: Former NRL players Brett Finch and Brett Firman were quest speakers at Albury Thunder's luncheon. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
IN TOWN: Former NRL players Brett Finch and Brett Firman were quest speakers at Albury Thunder's luncheon. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
Queensland captain Cameron Smith (right) and NSW skipper Paul Gallen ahead of the 2015 State of Origin series. Albury Thunder guest Brett Finch believes Smith is the greatest player of his era.

Queensland captain Cameron Smith (right) and NSW skipper Paul Gallen ahead of the 2015 State of Origin series. Albury Thunder guest Brett Finch believes Smith is the greatest player of his era.

Melbourne Storm’s Cameron Smith is the greatest player of the past 20 seasons, according to Albury Thunder guest Brett Finch.

Finch and fellow ex-NRL player Brett Firman spoke at the Group 9 club’s annual luncheon yesterday and were glowing in their praise.

“His record is outrageous,” Finch said.

“He’s won more competitions, he’s the record holder for the most Origins, most games, most Tests and he’s just coming off arguably the greatest season ever.

“He’s the best player I’ve seen.”

Rugby League’s greatest individual honour is The Immortals concept, which started in 1981.

A panel has admitted eight players, including former Queensland captain Wally Lewis, rated by many as the best of all-time.

Smith and Queensland team-mates Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston are considered among the most likely candidates of the modern-day players when the next player is admitted.

Smith and Slater played crucial roles in the Storm’s premiership win over North Queensland, which was missing Thurston after shoulder surgery.

Finch believes the pair will again meet in this year’s decider.

“They’ll both be standouts again,” he said of the star-studded outfits.

“Obviously Storm lost Cooper Cronk, but they’re still a real strong squad, and the Cowboys have got Thurston back, Matt Scott back and Jordan McLean will be a big buy for them too.”