Bellamy backs Cronk to fit in at Roosters
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy says the Sydney Roosters don't need him to reinforce what a great recruit they have signed in Cooper Cronk and believes he can work in well with their incumbent halves.
The Australian Test halfback has played all his 323 NRL games with the Storm since making his first-grade debut in 2004.
The 33-year-old signed a two-year deal with the Roosters on Monday to see out his playing career at the Bondi Junction club.
"We at the Storm would have loved Cooper to finish his career with us," Bellamy told NRL.com from the United States, where he is undergoing his regular off-season trip to prominent overseas sporting teams and organisations to see how they handle issues like recovery and preparation along with the latest in sports science techniques.
"But, unfortunately, that's not to be."
Bellamy has not spoken publicly since Cronk announced 11 days ago his decision to continue playing.
The 59-year-old, who had Cronk as his halfback in all seven grand finals Melbourne have contested since 2004, knows the benefits the Roosters are about to experience with the veteran in their squad.
The pair will continue to remain close, as Bellamy did when he lost Greg Inglis to South Sydney and Gareth Widdop to St George Illawarra.
"He's been a wonderful player for us and we sincerely wish him all the very best," Bellamy said.
As for Cronk being able to fit in with halves Mitchell Pearce or Luke Keary – or both – at the Roosters for 2018, the Souths Acacia junior will have no problems.
In the seven grand finals he played with Storm, he worked with six five-eighths: Scott Hill in 2006, Inglis in 2007-08, Brett Finch in 2009, Widdop in 2012, Blake Green in 2016 and Cameron Munster in Melbourne's premiership win earlier this month.
Cronk, in his interview with Fox Sports on Monday night, said he had contacted Pearce to urge him to stay at the club as the NSW halfback weighs up whether he wants to remain at the Tricolours or explore the option of a fresh start, likely at Manly, with Newcastle and Cronulla also possible destinations.