NRL superstar Cooper Cronk has announced he will hang up the boots at the end of the season, ending one of the greatest careers in rugby league history.
“It’s been a hell of a ride,” Cronk said while making the announcement on Monday.
“Firstly, I would just like to thank the entire rugby league community.. the game doesn’t exist without the NRL community and therefore I don’t exist.
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“The game cops its whacks every now and again but the game has the ability to transform lives and its transformed mine.
“To everyone that’s played a small part or a big part I’m forever in debt because rugby league has given me the opportunity to play the game that I love and it’s given me the opportunity for a life I never thought was possible.”
The champion halfback spent time thanking everyone who contributed to his career over the years, including his former Melbourne Storm teammates Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.
“To Billy and Cameron. I don’t think thanks cuts it to be honest,” Cronk said.
“Those two guys will go down in history as the two best players in their position for as long as the game of rugby league is around. So that probably makes me the best third wheel the game has ever seen too because I just jumped on the back of whatever they were doing.
“The first day I met them at Brisbane Norths to our last game on grand final day in 2017 my job was pretty easy.. a future immortal just passed the ball to me and I passed the ball to another future immortal.
“I’ll be forever grateful for what those two guys did for me both off the field and on the field.”
The 35-year-old is in the second and final year of his contract with the Roosters.
“I look forward to the next six months because there’s still a bit of footy to be played.”
Across 16 years he has played 357 first grade matches for both the tri-colours and the Melbourne Storm. He has also played 22 State of Origin appearances for Queensland and 38 Tests for Australia.
Earlier this month he jumped Darren Lockyer into second on the NRL’s all-time most-games list.