“When I originally announced I was leaving Melbourne I thought it was going to be the end anyway,” Cronk said after his 38th and final Test match for the Kangaroos.
“I knew that Origin III was going to be my last game and I played as if it was my last.
“It wasn’t until the finals came around I felt like I still wanted to play and had the desire. Then when the Roosters offer came through after the final it just felt right.
“I was actually hopeful Thurston would be here so we could have a ticker tape parade for him and I could slip in underneath.
“Out of respect, I told Mal early on in the week this was going to be my last time. I rang Kevvie Walters on Friday afternoon before I told the group on Friday night.”
As to who will replace him in both the Australian and Queensland, there are a number of options including Anthony Milford, Michael Morgan, Cameron Munster, Ben Hunt, Corey Norman and Daly Cherry-Evans.
But Cronk thinks one player has really stepped up in 2017 and deserves the first shot.
“There are a few five-eighths in the team that could transition into it,” Cronk said.
“Michael Morgan has been a tremendous find and talent in the halfback role.”