Tigers unlikely to play Cronk waiting game

NRL: Canterbury have fallen to the Wests Tigers to give the embattled club their third win of the season.

Cooper Cronk in action. Picture: Gregg Porteous

WESTS Tigers officials wouldn’t wait for the remaining members of their so-called ‘big four’ to re-sign and it seems they won’t be playing the long game for Cooper Cronk either.

Tigers football manager Kelly Egan on Sunday defended the club’s decision to withdraw contract offers for Aaron Woods and James Tedesco, saying they had waited long enough.

“The dialogue was always pretty positive. They’re local players and they were always keen to stay,” Egan said on Triple M NRL on Sunday.

“We knew they were good opportunities for the boys to take on a leadership and legacy role with this club. We couldn’t understand why nothing had happened.

Cooper Cronk of the Melbourne Storm.

Cooper Cronk of the Melbourne Storm.Source:AAP

“We just got to a stage where he had to get some clarity about where it was going to go.”

Now flush with cash heading into arguably the biggest player market in NRL history, Egan insists the club will be aggressive in filling some gaping holes in their 2018 roster.

One target that could be on the whiteboard is Melbourne veteran Cooper Cronk, who earlier this month declared his intention to move to Sydney at the end of the year to be with his fiancee.

Cronk’s options shrunk after Chad Towsend re-signed with Cronulla, Gareth Widdop extended with St George Illawarra, and Canterbury reportedly lured Kieran Foran to Belmore.

Parramatta are also out of the running after signing Mitchell Moses.

The incumbent Australian halfback has previously indicated that retirement is a genuine possibility, but wouldn’t make a final decision until after State of Origin in July.

NRL: It was Greg Eastwood?s boot that cost the Bulldogs a win in Sydney, with the forward putting the ball straight into the hands of James Tedesco in the 76th minute

“We’re going to have to make some decisions well and truly ahead of that time so we know exactly where we’re moving to and how we look,” Egan said.

“We’ve obviously retained Brooksy and we’ve retained him for a reason because we obviously thought there was some potential there that we could investigate with him.

“Obviously there’s going to be other people that we need to place around him.

“But we may not be able to wait until August or September or whenever Coop decides that he’s going to make a decision on whether he’s playing again yet.”

Live stream the 2017 NRL Telstra Premiership on FOX SPORTS. Get your free 2-week FOXTEL PLAY trial and start watching in minutes. SIGN UP NOW!

Originally published as Tigers unlikely to play Cronk waiting game