Cooper Cronk of the Melbourne Storm speaks to the media.
Cooper Cronk of the Melbourne Storm speaks to the media. JULIAN SMITH

The selfless motivation behind Cronk's shock move

COOPER Cronk is one of the most decorated players in rugby league history, with everything still to play for.

But the Kangaroos, Queensland and Melbourne Storm playmaker has shown he's also one of Australian sport's most unselfish stars and a man willing to put love above all else.

Cronk on Tuesday announced his plans to move to Sydney in 2018 to be with partner, Sydney-based Fox Sports presenter Tara Rushton. The pair have been long-distance partners for several years and became engaged earlier this year.

In detailing the deeply personal reasons behind his shock decision to leave Melbourne, 33-year-old Cronk showed his true colours by saying he was not willing to put his career - including the dynasty he's helped build at the Storm over two decades- ahead of his fiancee's.

"She loves Melbourne but the funny thing is, she's worked really hard to get where she is," Cronk told reporters.

"And we've had a thousand discussions about the possibilities of things but I'm not about to ask her or force her to give up what she's worked so hard for.

"I think I'm in a position to sacrifice what I've done and I'd be more than willing to sacrifice anything that I've done for our relationship going forward into the future."

Cronk is unsure where his playing future lies in 2018 but said his decision to moved was based on the fact "there's more to life than football".

"I'm jealous of the guys who have their families here, who have their loved ones and have football in the same city," he said.

"Unfortunately - or fortunately - whichever side you sit on, it's time for me to try and prioritise my time and my future and that's why I've made the announcement ... If it was a football decision, I'd be staying here for a long period of time. But for me to finish up here at Melbourne Storm this year is a personal (decision) ... there's a few things in life that are more important than football, like family, getting married and a future.

"I've been pretty selfish in my approach to my football career and I think it's time I put someone else and something else first."

News Corp Australia

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