Cronk: Time was right to end representative career
Cooper Cronk reflected on "one hell of a run" after announcing his retirement from representative rugby league following Australia's World Cup final win over England.
The 33-year-old half-back called time on his international and State of Origin career after the Kangaroos' 6-0 victory at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
Playmaker Cronk, who appeared 38 times for his country, decided to follow Queensland team-mate Johnathan Thurston in stepping down from the representative stage as he prepares for a new challenge with Sydney Roosters.
"When I originally announced I was leaving Melbourne I thought it was going to be the end anyway," Cronk said.
"I knew that Origin III was going to be my last game and I played as if it was my last. It wasn't until the finals came around I felt like I still wanted to play and had the desire. Then when the Roosters offer came through after the final it just felt right.
"I was actually hopeful Thurston would be here so we could have a ticker tape parade for him and I could slip in underneath. Out of respect I told [Australia coach] Mal [Meninga] early on in the week this was going to be my last time. I rang [Queensland coach] Kevvie [Kevin] Walters on Friday afternoon before I told the group on Friday night.
"There's probably two reasons for it; I've had one hell of a run and I never thought anything like this would even be possible in my wildest dreams for a kid who grew up here 20 minutes from the south side of the Brisbane.
"I never knew, thought or hoped. I think it's time for someone else to grab a few of those memories and moments. I've had my fair share. I've had a great run, been very fortunate and blessed for everything that has come my way and I think it's time for someone else to put their fingerprints all over this footy team and grab their own memories.
"The other reason is a personal one. Rep football takes a lot of dedication and time away. I think this is a really good time to know that this is an endpoint."