Cooper Cronk returns to Roosters in post-retirement deal

Australian Associated Press

Retired NRL champion Cooper Cronk will join the Sydney Roosters as a part-time specialist halves coach for 2020.

Labelled by head coach Trent Robinson as "the greatest thinker ever to play rugby league" following the Roosters' 14-8 premiership win over Canberra, the former halfback will apply his expertise to a new generation of young talent.

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Since he joined the Roosters from Melbourne in 2018, his influence led the club to back-to-back premierships, while five-eighth Luke Keary has improved dramatically.

The chance for Cronk to work with Kyle Flanagan, who is poised to replace him in the No.7 jersey in 2020, is a huge coup for the Roosters.

Cooper Cronk, pictured here celebrating the Roosters' grand final triumph.
Cooper Cronk celebrates the Roosters' grand final triumph. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The 2019 premiership was Cronk's ninth NRL grand final, and his sixth victory, which is the equal most of any halfback in history.

"I have spoken previously about what the Roosters have made possible for me over the last couple of years, and I'm excited to remain involved with the club in this new role," he said in a statement.

"There are some great young kids coming through the ranks at the Roosters and I'm looking forward to working with them."

Cronk to continue in media role

In the role, Cronk will be working with halves from all of the club's grades.

"Cooper's experience and football nous is unmatched and it's great to have him on board in this role where he will pass on his knowledge and work on the development of our halves across all grades at the club," Robinson said.

In retirement, Cronk is also expected continue his media role with Fox Sports as an expert analyst.

At the Roosters' presentation night earlier this month, club boss Nick Politis announced he would put Cronk forward for life membership.

The board will vote on his status at the next AGM in February.