Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk has today announced that he will retire from rugby league at the end of the 2019 NRL season.
35-year-old Cronk, the second most-capped player in the history of the game, said that after 16 seasons of top-grade football, the time was right to move on to the next chapter of his life.
Cronk will retire as one of the game’s most decorated players. To date, he is a five-time Dally M Halfback of the Year (2006, 2011-2013, 2016), two-time Dally M Player of the Year (2013, 2016), Clive Churchill Medallist (2012) and Golden Boot winner (2016).
Player number 1174, Cronk made his Club debut with the Sydney Roosters in the opening round of the 2018 season, and concluded the year by becoming the first player to win consecutive Premierships with two different clubs in the NRL era after steering the Foundation Club to its 14th Premiership.
Cronk made his NRL debut with the Melbourne Storm in 2004, amassing 323 games for the club and playing in seven grand finals, winning four of those matches – his most recent the 2017 Grand Final, his final match with the Storm.
In the representative arena, he played 38 Tests for Australia and 22 State of Origin games for Queensland.
Sydney Roosters Chairman, Nick Politis AM, said: “I have never seen anybody like Cooper Cronk in our game.
“Cooper is a tremendous individual and I would like to thank him for his incredible leadership, professionalism and insurmountable contribution to not only our proud Club, but the game of rugby league. We will always be very proud to call Cooper a Rooster,” added Mr Politis AM.
Sydney Roosters Head Coach, Trent Robinson, lauded Cronk for his leadership on and off the field.
“Knowing Cooper, he won’t be too comfortable with these accolades and will be of the view that he still has a job to do, but it’s important we pause to acknowledge his achievements over the years,” said Robinson.
“The records will show that Cooper was only with our Club for two years, but it speaks volumes of his character that his place in the history of our Club is assured.
“Cooper is a man of high integrity, and his professional approach to his training, playing and recovery is testament to the character he is.
“He has driven success here at the Roosters, and throughout his career. He has been a remarkable achiever at both Club and representative level. Significantly, he has also made those around him better, both on and off the field.
“Looking ahead, on behalf of the playing group and everyone at the Club, we wish Cooper and his family all the very best for the next chapter of their lives, but in the short-term, we look forward to seeing out the season together,” he added.