League: Rabbitohs, Roosters rule out making play for Cronk

By AAP

Canterbury and Parramatta loom as the early leaders in the race for the signature of Storm playmaker Cooper Cronk. Photo / Getty Images
Canterbury and Parramatta loom as the early leaders in the race for the signature of Storm playmaker Cooper Cronk. Photo / Getty Images

South Sydney have ruled out making a play for Queensland and Australian playmaker Cooper Cronk.

The Rabbitohs have a connection to Cronk, who is leaving Melbourne at the end of the NRL season, through coach Michael Maguire after they worked together at the Storm earlier in their careers.

Maguire said he was committed to halves Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker and believed their best years were in front of them.

Asked if he was interested in Cronk, Maguire said he wouldn't consider moving on Reynolds or Walker to accommodate one of the great modern-day halves.

"No, I've got Adam Reynolds and I'm very satisfied with how Adam's going," Maguire said.

"Adam is 26, and I've spoken to him about this, I think his best years are to come in his career.

"If you look at someone like [Johnathan] Thurston or Cronk, their best years came in the period Adam's coming into now.

"If he keeps progressing and working hard, there's no reason he can't progress into someone of that stature."

Canterbury and Parramatta loom as the early leaders in the race for the signature of Cronk, who is moving to Sydney to be with his fiancee, TV presenter Tara Rushton, and is weighing whether to retire or play on.

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler said he would be interested in any player of Cronk's calibre.

Parramatta are reported to have A$3m in their 2018 salary cap and are desperate for a halves partner for Corey Norman following Kieran Foran's exit last year.

The Tigers also expressed their interest. However, they have reportedly re-signed halfback Luke Brooks and offered five-eighth Mitchell Moses a big-money upgrade.

Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson also confirmed his side had no interest in Cronk given they had Mitchell Pearce and Luke Keary on their books.

He joked that Hasler had called every Sydney-based coach on Tuesday night and put dibs on signing the Kangaroos halfback.

Robinson predicted Cronk would change the DNA of whichever side he signed.

"There's a lot that comes with those top echelon of players, more than just the 80 minutes of football," the 2013 premiership-winning coach said.

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