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'Life has never been better': Cooper Cronk's beautiful tribute to wife and son

Cooper Cronk has paid a moving tribute to wife Tara Rushton after announcing 2019 will be his final season in the NRL.

The 35-year-old is in the second and final year of his contract with the Sydney Roosters and will strive to draw the curtain on a 16-year career by helping the Bondi club defend its 2018 title.

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

He’s spent the last two years at the Roosters, moving to Sydney to be closer to Fox Sports presenter Rushton.

Cooper Cronk and Tara Rushton. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)
Cooper Cronk and Tara Rushton. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

The couple married in 2018 and welcomed their first child Lennox, which Cronk described as “two of the best things that have ever happened to me”.

“Life has never been better,” Cronk said on Monday, on the verge of tears.

“My wife is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

“Since the day we met, honestly I wake up with a smile on my face and I go to bed at night happy.

“My wife and my son are the two people that I see first and say goodnight to last.”

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With a commentary career now on the cards, Cronk said he’s welcoming the opportunity to spend more time at home.

“I look forward to being the dad that hopefully I can be and passing on as much love, care, support and hugs and kisses to them for the next 50, 60, 70 years,” he said.

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Class act amid Smith ‘feud’

Cronk also lauded his former club, praising coach Craig Bellamy and stalwarts Billy Slater and Cameron Smith for shaping the club and thanking them for the special moments shared.

“I moved down to Melbourne as an 18, 19-year-old kid, just with an opportunity, and without Melbourne Storm I don’t stand here today,” he said.

“The real big three at Melbourne Storm, it’s probably Craig Bellamy, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.

“Billy and Cameron, I don’t think ‘thanks’ cuts it. Those two guys will go down in history as the two best players in their positions, for as long as the game of rugby league is around. That makes me the best third wheel the game has ever seen too.”

with AAP