Is it fair to say rugby union is not an option Mr.Cronk?
“That is fair to say, categorically”
And so with those six words Cooper Cronk put to rest the wild speculation that he was heading to the 15-man game in 2018.
A report surfaced a few days ago that suggested arguably the greatest playmaker of the NRL’s modern era would be lining up in Super Rugby next season.
However speaking in Brisbane on the eve of the NRL Double Header, Cronk poured cold water on that idea.
“I have not had any conversations with rugby union, I have no intentions,” Cronk said
“My intention is to make a decision about if I want to play next year not where I want to play.
“I just played a Test, hopefully a big Origin campaign coming up, Melbourne Storm is in a decent position going into the back end of the year and there is a World Cup. At my age there is a lot of football decisions to be made.
“I know you guys want to know and out of respect I will have an answer for you but until that day comes we can just keep talking around in circles.”
With fellow halves Kieran Foran, Mitchell Moses, Josh Reynolds and Luke Brooks already putting pen to paper with Sydney clubs for next season, Cronk accepts that speculation will continue to follow him.
However he is adamant that will play no part in his decision.
“I wont be dictated by the market, the market can move along as it is,” Cronk said.
“Out of respect for those clubs making decisions, the time will come where I may have a conversation but until that point there won’t be any conversations.”
Cronk and his teammates are now preparing to take on the Titans as part of the NRL Double Header tomorrow.
The two teams will kick-off the blockbuster event at 5.30pm before Manly and Brisbane take to Suncorp Stadium from 7.30pm.
Melbourne will enter the game having to make three forced changes to their forward pack due to the absence of Nelson Asofa-Solomona (broken hand), Christian Welch (knee) and Jesse Bromwich (suspension).
Those are three big outs, quite literally, but the Storm veteran is confident the team’s philosophy will shine through.
“We are down on stock but the motto at Melbourne Storm is ‘next man up’,” Cronk said.
“While the individual brilliance of individual players does help our team from time to time, the way that we play football is based on 17 players, everyone has a role to play.
“There will be some guys in that 21-man squad who will get an opportunity tomorrow night in a big stadium. That is what football is all about and that is what guys who don’t have a lot of experience need to expose themselves to.
“No matter who runs out for Melbourne tomorrow night I guarantee you will see a Storm performance and hopefully a good one.”