Cronk not rushing into retirement decision

Updated: 

Australia captain Cooper Cronk has not decided whether to continue his international career after the Rugby League World Cup and will not rush into a decision over when to call time on his career.

Cronk last month announced that he will end his 15-year year stay with Melbourne Storm to head home to Sydney at the end of the NRL campaign.

The talismanic half-back and Dally M Medallist will lead his country out against New Zealand in Canberra on Friday and the 33-year-old said it may not only be Johnathan Thurston's final ANZAC Test.

Asked if he could be in the last year of his Australia career, Cronk said: "I suppose it could be, but I haven't really thought about being in Canberra this being my last Test, I'm more thinking about do I want to play on or not?

"I haven't really had those thoughts, I suppose in hindsight it possibly could be, but I think there's a few other things to focus on this week in terms of preparation.

"This year has the potential to be a massive year for the Kangaroos, I thought we made some really good steps in the right direction in the Four Nations campaign last year under Mal [Meninga] and while we set the standard then, that's the expectation going forward for 2017.

"There's the ANZAC Test on Friday and then obviously the World Cup campaign, so looking forward to it. Hopefully we can raise the bar again and play to another level, let's hope 2017 could be a really promising year for the Kangaroos."

Pressed on when he might hang up his boots, Cronk said he will bide his time before making a call on a retirement date.

"I enjoy playing rugby league, it's great. On the other hand, I've been so fortunate to have the career I have, so the decision had to be made around Melbourne Storm out of respect for Melbourne Storm," he added.

"Obviously with the player transfer market, there is a lot going on and if I had left my decision later in the year they would have been in a difficult position. So the first decision was will I take up that option and the answer is no for that, that was a tough and emotional one.

"The next decision around will I play on or not won't be made for a period of time. I am not the type of player that likes to make decision off the cuff; I like to think them through. In due course I guarantee I will let you know, but that's not for a while, trust me."

Cronk said Thurston is on course to make his comeback from a calf injury against the Kiwis, while Darius Boyd (hamstring) should also be fit.