Sport Test star touted for Roosters after Cordner exit
Boyd Cordner forced into early retirement
Sydney Roosters favourite Boyd Cordner will retire from rugby league with two years remaining on his contract.The Kangaroos and NSW Blues skipper made the decision based on medical advice after undergoing recent tests in a bid to return to the game which he has been sidelined from since 2020's State of Origin series last November.
The Roosters should pursue Melbourne's New Zealand Test hooker Brandon Smith after a raft of big-name retirements.
That's the call from Tricolours great Brad Fittler, after the exits of, Jake Friend and Brett Morris.
"Brandon Smith - geez, he'd suit the Roosters wouldn't he?" Fittler said on Wide World of Sports' Freddy and the Eighth.
Smith is contracted with the Storm until the end of next season and Melbourne have said that they would require an equivalent replacement player to consider an early release. That may not be a hooker, given that Queensland Origin star Harry Grant seems the Storm's long-term No.9.
Concussion forces Boyd Cordner to quit NRL
Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner is expected to call time on his NRL after an ongoing issue with concussion.The Roosters, NSW and Australia Test captain is reportedly set to confirm his retirement at a press conference on Monday morning.
Friend's retirement due to concussion left the Roosters with a vacancy in their No.9 jersey. They have a raft of hooker options, yet those ranks have also been hit by injury. Sam Verrills, Freddy Lussick and Ben Marschke have all had injury setbacks this year, while playmaker Adam Keighran has also been used at No.9.
Verrills has been earmarked as Friend's long-term replacement and is already a premiership player, yet ruptured an ACL last year and suffered a semi-detached retina this season. Fittler said that Smith would also be a natural fit with the Eastern Suburbs lifestyle.
"Him and Victor [Radley] - imagine them two scallywags," he said.
Video: QLDER: Wally Lewis' changes for Origin Game II (Wide World of Sports)
Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner to announce retirement due to repeated concussions
The 29-year-old has not played since sustaining a head knock during the opening game of the 2020 State of Origin series. Cordner returned to the field in that game but took no further part in the series.He stepped away from the game to consider his future but the Roosters had been upbeat about a round 14 NRL return for their skipper.That comeback date passed in the Roosters' heart-stopping 35-34 win over the Gold Coast on Saturday with speculation that Cordner's comeback had been put on hold.Cordner will join former club co-captain Jake Friend in retirement in 2021 because of concussion issues.
Apart from Smith, who has been linked with the Bulldogs, England Test hooker Josh Hodgson may leave Canberra and could be another option for the Roosters. Hodgson quit as Raiders co-captain this year and has no interest in being a back-up to young hooker Tom Starling; though Hodgson is starting at No.9 this weekend against the Dragons, with Starling at No.14.
Cordner is the latest retiree at the Roosters, also forced out by concussion. The Roosters, NSW and Australian skipper was believed to be on about $780,000 per season.
The Roosters are not believed to have huge salary cap space for next season, due to a raft of other factors, but may have the chance to sign at least one significant player to ease their losses.
Fittler paid tribute to Cordner, his NSW State of Origin captain, saying that he was the type of player who other wanted to play with.
'Sleepless nights' behind emotional Cordner call
Boyd Cordner has confirmed his immediate retirement from the game in the wake of repeated head knocks.The 29-year-old has called time on his glittering career, forced out of the game due to repeated concussions.
"He just ran harder than everyone else. He just put his body under that much pressure," Fittler said.
"There's a lot of different players that get accolades for what goes on in the field but for Joey (Andrew Johns) and I, we know the people we loved playing with; it's Boyd Cordner, it's Steve Simpson, it's Craig Fitzgibbon. It's these blokes that just put their body on the line non-stop.
"That's what we ask for, that's what the game demands. It's not an easy game. He's just put his body on the line the whole time, just so courageous and led so well.
"You have a look at the club over a long time, it's been at the top for a long time and that's because they do that. It's sad that he had to retire but overall, I just can't be more proud of someone. He was just the exact player I needed on the footy field."
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NRL players must start taking risk of concussion seriously .
The Australian captain's decision to retire because of the risk of head injury is a new era for the game.NRL great Boyd Cordner's decision to retire from rugby league this week is a hopeful sign that the message about the risk of long-term brain damage is finally getting through to the people who need to hear it most: the players.