Cronk-Cordner combination already on track
Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner says his club's signing of halfback Cooper Cronk has brought the State of Origin rivals closer together.
Any rivalry between the NSW Blues captain and the Queensland Maroons veteran has always been friendly, with the pair first bonding when touring the UK together as part of the Kangaroos' victorious World Cup squad in 2013.
This friendship has only become stronger during this year's World Cup, with Cordner receiving the news of Cronk's move from the Melbourne Storm to the Roosters in the days after Australia's tournament-opening win over England.
They were close to being inseparable throughout the World Cup, connecting on and off the field to help the Kangaroos go through their campaign unbeaten.
"I've always got along with Cooper really well. He's a good bloke. I've been playing with him since 2013 at the World Cup in England," Cordner said.
"Since hearing the news about him coming to the Roosters, it's only natural to get closer with him. He's a great guy and we already had a strong bond before that news, but it is probably a bit stronger now."
 Telstra Premiership: Boyd Cordner vs Cooper Cronk
Tries, All Run Metres, Tackle Breaks, Try Assists.
The Roosters and the Storm will be two of the leading contenders for the 2018 Telstra Premiership title and Cordner also made the most of being alongside another Melbourne stalwart during the World Cup in the form of Kangaroos captain Cameron Smith.
Cordner has picked up leadership skills from Cronk's former Storm teammate and 2017 Golden Boot winner Cameron Smith over the six weeks of the tournament.
Cordner concedes he would have been foolish not to take advantage of learning from Smith, who has 56 Tests and many records at club, state and national level in his resume.
The Roosters forward is widely tipped to follow in Smith's footsteps as national skipper.
When asked about how long he thought Smith had left in him, Cordner was full of praise for one of the greatest players of all time.
"At this stage I think 'Smithy' can play for another five years," he joked.
"He's a great leader. Just how calm he is, especially during the game, but also away from the game. You can take away a lot off Cameron.
"He's been around for a while now so I'd be silly not to learn something off the best player in the game."