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Cooper Cronk enters NRL Immortal debate

Just minutes after Cooper Cronk announced his NRL retirement, the debate began about whether the champion halfback deserved rugby league's most prestigious honour - being named an Immortal.

Over the next six years and beyond, Cronk and many of his former Queensland Origin teammates will feature heavily in discussions about whether they deserve a place in the game's most elite club.

Darren Lockyer, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston have all been earmarked as future Immortals.

So where does Cronk stand in the pecking order?

Wherever he went in his career, success has followed - from Melbourne to Queensland to Australia to the Sydney Roosters.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson cautiously dipped his toe into the debate, saying no player has got more out of themselves relative to their natural abilities than Cronk.

"I look at his achievements, and he played in some really good teams - but there was a constant within that team, Cooper, as well as (Slater and Smith)," Robinson said.

"We play a team sport; what's your role as a player in the team sport? Has anybody embodied that more than Cooper Cronk?"

Cronk only became a starter in the Maroons side in 2012, but after that was instrumental in their sustained success.

From 2006 to 2017, Queensland's only series loss came in 2014 when Cronk broke his arm midway through game one and was forced to miss game two.

He broke NSW's hearts on more than one occasion.

He came up with a series-winning field goal in 2012's game three and his one-pointer in 2015's game one ended up deciding the series.

Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Cronk was his typical philosophical self.

"To have a 10, 12, 15-year career in the halfback position, you need to be able to make your tackles and kick well," Cronk said,

"Everything else after that can be added. It's pretty easy - as long as you've got will, you can teach skill."

--End of article--

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