Cordner coy on Pearce speculation
Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner insists he is not caught in a difficult position juggling his club commitments with his friendship to Mitchell Pearce, declaring "it's a business".
Cordner has been in regular contact with the Roosters No.7 as speculation intensifies that he could walk away from the club as a result of the expected signing of Cooper Cronk for the next two years.
While Cordner remained tight-lipped about his conversations with his close friend, he insists his relationship with Pearce won’t compromise his role at the club.
"I don't find it a hard spot at all," Cordner said after Australia's 18-4 win over England in the opening game of the World Cup on Friday night.
"I think that what's happened has happened. You have to face it because that’s reality. That's what happens in football. At the end of the day it’s a business.
"Pearcy is one of my best friends, I'll support him 100 per cent of the way. Like I said, it's all speculation at the moment. Nothing has been set in stone as far as I know and I can't comment any further than that."
Cronk is expected to finalise his deal with the Roosters in the coming days, leaving Pearce's future at the club up in the air as he contemplates whether to walk out on the club he debuted with as a teenager. Manly, Newcastle and Cronulla appear to be his most likely options should Pearce decide to depart Bondi.
While Cordner hasn't asked Cronk about his plans for next season during their time together in Australian camp, the NSW and Roosters captain believes the Kangaroos halfback will be an asset to the tri-colours if he joins.
"If a player like Cooper Cronk comes on the market and you can get him for a good deal, I think you’d be silly not to look into it," Cordner said.
"If it does end up happening or to be true, you’re going to benefit from a guy like Cooper Cronk coming to your club, there’s no doubt about it.
"I haven’t chatted to Cooper. I've shown him the respect and given him space. He's a grown man, I'm sure he's looking after himself at the moment. He's got a million questions coming at him, so I’ll just give him his space."
It is understood the Roosters have discussed the prospect of playing Cronk, Pearce and Keary in the same team next year, however the likelihood is one of the current halves will leave to accommodate the arrival of Cronk.
However Cordner believes there’s a chance the trio could work together.
"If it does happen and there can be a way to have all three halves playing in the same team, I think if you can make it work then what a force," Cordner said.
"But it's a long way away and nothing has been set in stone. Obviously I've spoken to a few people. At this stage – I don't know the details or anything like that – but at this stage it's all just speculation. I've spoken to Pearcy a couple of times and just out of respect to him I think the right thing to do is keep that between me and him at the moment."