Israel Folau could make a return to rugby league before the end of the year.
Sydney Roosters superstar Cooper Cronk wants to “roll up the sleeves” and play seven NRL games before finishing his illustrious career with victory on grand final day.
Cronk became the first player in 45 years to win consecutive premierships at different clubs last season and now wants to be on the first team to win back-to-back premierships in the NRL era.
The 35-year-old said he’s pleased with how the second-placed Roosters are tracking, following a hard-fought 22-18 win against top-three rivals Canberra on Sunday.
“Semis must be around the corner because the intensity has jacked up a little bit, but they’re the games you want to be a part of, they test you in every way,” Cronk said.
“It was a real opportunity for both teams to roll up the sleeves and be physical and do all the hard stuff that normally wins you big contests.”
The Roosters are one spot ahead of where they were after round 21 last year and have a better points percentage. But Cronk wouldn’t be drawn on whether the premiers are further along than 12 months ago.
“That’s a hard question to answer, if you’re an avid Roosters fan you’d probably say yes, if you’re an opposition team you’d probably say no,” Cronk said.
“We’re in a competition where you get judged on wins and losses on the table but we’re a footy club that judges ourselves on the way we play and the Roosters style and if you look at that I think we’re travelling pretty well.”
If all goes to plan, Cronk will play the remaining four games of the regular season and three finals, culminating in his third straight decider and a phenomenal ninth overall.
Cronk played in seven grand finals with Melbourne before joining the Roosters last season, but the future Immortal has never won back-to-back premierships at the same club.
“We’re about to find out (if we can go back-to-back) but I’m the wrong person to ask. I’ve tried it a number of times and I don’t have the answer,” Cronk said.