Cooper Cronk’s career in the NRL could be coming to an end sooner rather than later.
Cooper Cronk’s career in the NRL could be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

NRL star’s stunning retirement hint

SYDNEY Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk says he is ready to make a call on his NRL future and will make an announcement in the next few weeks.

Cronk is in the final season of his two-year Roosters deal but hasn't ruled out playing on - and potentially breaking through the 400-game barrier.

The 35-year-old will run out for his 356th first-grade match on Sunday against Canberra at Suncorp Stadium as part of Magic Round.

With it, he will go past former Queensland State of Origin and Australian Test teammate Darren Lockyer into second on the all-time list of most appearances.

Only former Melbourne teammates Cameron Smith - who is eight games away from his 400th game - sits ahead of him.

The Roosters grand final hero said an announcement on his future was imminent.

"I'm pretty close," Cronk said.

"It's just a matter of timing and a few other things to go through. I'm very comfortable with where it's at."

The curtain could be set to close.
The curtain could be set to close.

Fittingly, Cronk will bring up his milestone in Brisbane, his home town and where his career began as a teenager with Queensland Cup side the Norths Devils in the early 2000s.

Cronk said he was "humbled, grateful, a little bit uncomfortable" with his upcoming achievement, saying he was embarrassed to be spoken about in the same breath as Lockyer.

"The thing that was most impressive about Darren Lockyer is he started at 18-years-old, he finished at 34 and his career got to an elite level and it stayed there for 15 years," Cronk said.

"To be able to do that was pretty impressive. I remember growing up as a kid watching guys like him play. To have my name etched alongside him, it sits a little bit uncomfortably."

What may extend his career is the role he has been asked to play by coach Trent Robinson.

Luke Keary has stepped up to be the dominant playmaker in the team and Cronk said his job at the Tri-Colours was different to the one he has played throughout his career.

"I'm enjoying my role here. I'm a bit of a role player here with the talent we've got in the footy team," he said.

"Trent didn't get me here to score more tries. He got me here to play a particular role - my job is to create space, bring other guys in, fast track their development and I'm really enjoying that stuff."

News Corp Australia

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