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Cooper Cronk announces NRL retirement

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Champion halfback Cooper Cronk has announced he will retire from the NRL at the end of the 2019 season.

The 35-year-old is in the second and final year of his contract with the Sydney Roosters and will draw the curtain on a 16-year career.

Cronk will be remembered as one of the game's greatest playmakers after a career including 22 State of Origin appearances for Queensland and 38 Tests for Australia.

Cronk began his career at Melbourne where he played in seven grand finals for four wins, although the Storm's 2007 and 2009 titles were later stripped for salary cap cheating.

He wrote himself into Roosters folklore when he last year played through the pain of a broken shoulder blade to lead the Tri-Colours to a grand final victory over the Storm.

He has played 357 first-grade matches and earlier this month jumped Darren Lockyer into second on the NRL's all-time appearance list.

© AAP 2019