Cooper Cronk celebrates after State of Origin game III this year.
Cooper Cronk celebrates after State of Origin game III this year.

Cooper Cronk drops retirement bombshell

KANGAROOS halfback Cooper Cronk has dropped a World Cup-winning bombshell by announcing his retirement from representative football.

Just an hour after leading the Kangaroos to a 6-0 defeat of England in the World Cup final, Cronk revealed he would walk away from Queensland and Australia to focus solely on his new club the Roosters next season.

The decision leaves a massive hole in Australia and Queensland's scrumbase with Cronk and halves partner Johnathan Thurston to be missing from the Maroons and Kangaroos in 2018.

"It just felt right," Cronk said.

"Out of respect, I told Mal (Meninga, Australia coach) earlier on in the week. I also rang 'Kevvie' Walters (Queensland mentor) on Friday afternoon.

"It's just a fitting end.

"When I announced I was leaving Melbourne, I thought this would be it anyway.

"I've had a fair ride ... this is the best case scenario for me and the team moving forward."

 

Cronk played his 38th Test for Australia last night _ ironically equalling Thurston _ and admitted he knew his 22nd game for Queensland in the Origin decider in July would be his last in Maroon.

"Mal was a bit taken aback," he said.

"He thought I thought would talk about my style of play when I asked to have a chat.

"Kevvie knew it was the right decision for me, he was very supportive, he knows what type of person I am."

An emotional Cooper Cronk (right) with Australian captain Cameron Smith following Australia’s Rugby League World Cup final win over England on Saturday night.
An emotional Cooper Cronk (right) with Australian captain Cameron Smith following Australia’s Rugby League World Cup final win over England on Saturday night.

Cronk celebrates his 34th birthday this Tuesday and is confident his body can survive at the Roosters for another two years without the demands of representative football.

The Kangaroos playmaker admits he walked away because it is time for younger players to have the opportunity to step up in Test and Origin football.

"There's a few five-eighths in the team that could transition into it," he said

"To try and predict what's going to happen ... a lot can happen.

"I don't want to put any pressure on anyone. They deserve the moments I've had. I've loved every minute and treasured every moment in the Queensland and Australian teams.

"What we achieved with the Kangaroos was great for the international game."



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