The Roar
The Roar


End of an era at Green Machine as Croker makes retirement call

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
13th August, 2023

Raiders veteran Jarrod Croker is hanging up the boots but he will return to the field this season for one final fling.

The 32-year-old Canberra legend will bring down the curtain on his career at season’s end after playing 305 NRL games, scoring a club record 2358 points from 135 tries and 909 goals.

Currently sidelined with a hamstring strain, injuries have curtailed his career in recent years but he made a strong return this season to play 13 matches to get Canberra into the hunt for the playoffs.

He is set to return next Sunday against Canterbury with the Raiders needing to win their final three regular-season matches to shore up their top-eight berth.

Croker, who made his debut in 2009 and captained the Raiders to the Grand Final a decade later, told NewsCorp the time was right to pull the pin.


Jarrod Crocker (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

“I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks and I’m relieved I’ve finally made the decision. It’s more the body. My heart and head still love the game but the body’s had enough,” he said.

“The kids I play against these days are so fit, fast and strong. It’s certainly not getting any easier at my age.”


Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy – a 150-game Raiders player himself – paid tribute to Croker’s service following his side’s win, calling him “a terrific guy” who’d given tremendous service to Canberra “and the game in general”.

“He’s plays the game in a really good spirit,” Bellamy said. “He was a wonderful centre, he was smooth on the ground and he could score tries from anywhere.

“But one of the things the Raiders might miss with him is how dependable he was with his goal kicking, and he’s done that for years.”

Croker will end his career third on the NRL’s all-time points scoring list, behind Melbourne great Cameron Smith and former Canterbury star Hazem El Masri.

He will retire in second spot on Canberra’s list of most games played, behind distant cousin Jason Croker’s 318, but he holds the record for most tries, points and goals, as well as most points in a season after piling up 296 in 2016.