Rugby: Rebels deny they want to sign Cronk

Cooper Cronk has been linked with the Brisbane Broncos as well as the Rebels. Photo / Getty Images
Cooper Cronk has been linked with the Brisbane Broncos as well as the Rebels. Photo / Getty Images

The Melbourne Rebels don't want Storm halfback Cooper Cronk, they just want to play like him.

The Super Rugby side on Friday denied speculation they were interested in signing Cronk, the off-contract Melbourne NRL halfback.

They are, however, interested in the Storm's intellectual property given the club's enviable record of success.

"We view their training sessions every now and then and they view ours," said coach Damien Hill as the Rebels prepared for their opening trial game next Friday night.

"They've got a fantastic coaching staff that we can learn from and they've been nice enough to share their coaching resources with us.

Hill said the Storm's execution of their "catch and pass" and speed of played were two things they were trying to develop at the Rebels.

With the worst defensive statistics in the Super Rugby competition in their debut season, they were also happy for any tips in that department.

"Defensively they're known as a very hard working team ... something we'd love to have people speak about the Rebels about."

Cronk has been linked with the Brisbane Broncos as well as the Rebels but the rugby side said they couldn't afford the 28-year-old, and didn't need him.

Hill said he admired Cronk but he wasn't a target for their outfit.

"I watch a lot of league and Cooper's a fantastic player," Hill said.

"It's unrealistic for us to talk about him at this place. We've got salary caps in place and he's at the top echelon of rugby league."

With their young halfback Nick Phipps already winning three Test caps and with star power like fellow Wallabies James O'Connor, Kurtley Beale and former England representative Danny Cipriani in the line-up, Hill said they had the halves well covered.

"Not talking anything away from Cooper because he's a fantastic player but we've got Nick Phipps, who's back from the Wallabies and Richard Kingi, our contesting halfback for that spot.

"In terms of 10s, Jimmy Hilgendorf, Danny Cipriani, Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor, Julian Huxley and Lloyd Johansson, who can all play 10 so we have got a lot of options."

- AAP

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