https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/06/10/smith-and-thurston-earn-queens-birthday-honours/ Legendary duo Smith and Thurston earn Queen's Birthday honours NRL.com Mon 10 Jun 2019, 08:01 AM They enjoyed sustained record-breaking success alongside each other at state and national level so it's fitting Johnathan Thurston and Cameron Smith have been recognised together in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours list. The two Kangaroos and Maroons greats have been named as Order of Australia Medal recipients, drawing praise from across the sport. Smith said he was humbled by the honour. "It's been a wonderful privilege to play for Australia, Queensland and Melbourne Storm for so many years and to be part of such a great team sport as rugby league," Smith said. "You don't get to enjoy the success I've had without being surrounded by great players, coaches and training staff. I owe them so much." Thurston said the honour was unexpected. "[It's] certainly a massive honour and one I'm extremely humbled by," he said. "Rugby league has a huge impact on the community and over time I realised I could also have an impact personally as well. "When you're a kid you dream about playing for Queensland and Australia and it wasn't until I achieved those dreams I realised the difference I could make on the community with my standing in the game." ARL Commission chairman, Peter Beattie said it was well-deserved recognition for two of the most outstanding rugby league players of all time. "Both players have done so much for the game of rugby league and for many communities throughout Australia, possessing leadership and compassionate qualities that have had a profound impact on many," Beattie said. "I congratulate them on being named in this years' honours list." NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the pair had been wonderful ambassadors for the game from a young age. "Their individual on-field accolades may never be eclipsed and their recognition today as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List adds to a combined list of achievements that are as impressive as they are deserved," Greenberg said. "It's only fitting that two mates that began their rugby league journeys together more than 25 years ago, have today been awarded one of the highest honours in Australia." Storm CEO Dave Donaghy also spoke highly of Smith's contribution to the sport. "Cameron's on-field achievements are well documented, but outside of the playing field, hiscontribution to, and influence on, the sport of rugby league extends further than the statistics," Donaghy said. "Cameron's character and leadership qualities are exemplified by his commitment to the Melbourne Storm as a one-club player and his contribution to growing the game in Victoria will long be remembered. [It's] certainly a massive honour and one I'm extremely humbled by. Johnathan Thurston "He has contributed countless hours at community events and appearances at junior rugby league clubs to inspire the next generation of rugby league players in a state without historical connections to the game. "Not only is he the NRL games record holder and likely to be the first – and perhaps only – player to ever reach the 400 game milestone in 2019, has the most premiership goals, most wins, most games as captain and has achieved a long list of other personal and club highlights and awards that reflect his outstanding career. "The list of rugby league identities to be honoured with an OAM is quite short and the list of players to be recognised in this way while still playing is even shorter, highlighting just how special Cameron's record is."