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Slater unsure whether Cronk will play on

NZN 5/04/2017 Melissa Woods

Billy Slater says he wouldn't be surprised if his Melbourne teammate Cooper Cronk retired at the end of the season rather than play for another NRL club.

Slater says Cronk, who announced his plans on Tuesday to move to Sydney for personal reasons, could easily play for another few years but isn't convinced the Test halfback will.

"He's fit, he's mentally there and he could go on for a number of years if he wanted to but it wouldn't surprise me if he did retire because Cooper can do things a little bit different at times," Slater said.

The veteran fullback said he wasn't shocked by Cronk's decision to leave as he could see the writing on the wall once Cronk got engaged to his Sydney-based television presenter partner Tara Rushton.

"I knew it was going to be hard for him to live away from her for two years," Slater said.

"He tried to make it work but unfortunately for us, he's moving to Sydney."

Slater said the Storm didn't try to convince Cronk to stay, believing it would be selfish to do so.

"He's doing a selfless thing for his partner and their future and that's not for us to interfere with," Slater said.

"He's put a lot into this club and he's certainly going to leave a legacy at this club and we're just focusing on the remainder of this year with him."

Cronk doesn't plan to make a decision on his playing future for at least a few months but if he chose suit up in Sydney Slater admitted it would be "weird".

He said he'd never played against Cronk, with their on-field partnership stretching back 14 seasons and their friendship even longer to teenage days in Brisbane.

Slater, also 33, is off-contract at the end of the season but after only just returning from two rounds of shoulder surgery which sidelined him for most of the last two years, said he wasn't thinking about his own future just yet.

"This is a totally separate issue to me and it won't determine what I'm doing next year," Slater said.

"I've got three games under my belt and hopefully I'll get many more and make that decision later in the year."

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