Bellamy wants Roos reward for premiers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy wants Roos reward for premiers

By Todd Balym 05/10/2009 07:44:13 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy says halfback Cooper Cronk would be the ideal utility to take on Australia's Four Nations tour whilst also pushing the claims of forwards Brett White, Ryan Hoffman and Dallas Johnson.

Cronk, Hoffman and Johnson all earned Test debuts the last time Melbourne won the NRL premiership as the club set a record with seven players in the 2007 Kangaroos side.

Melbourne are assured of at least three tourists with incumbents Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Cameron Smith, but NRL premiers are typically well represented in Australian squads.

Cronk and Johnson haven't been in green and gold since 2007, while Hoffman was dumped after playing in the Centenary Test in 2008.

But Bellamy believes the trio warrant recalls and White a debut after his barnstorming finish to the season and strong grand final performance against Eels star Fuifui Moimoi.

White has the strongest chance as incumbent Steve Price is unavailable with injury, while Petero Civoniceva (toe) and Brent Kite are also unlikely tourists.

"I would like to think Whitey deserves a lot of thought," said Bellamy.

"Hoffy as well. I don't know whether they'd take Dallas or not but if anyone deserves to go it's him ... it's amazing what he does for a guy his size."

But Bellamy reserved his biggest praise for Cronk, the halfback unlucky not to claim the Clive Churchill Medal after his match-winning efforts against the Eels.

"I think he would be an ideal guy to go on tour with," said Bellamy.

"Cooper used to play five-eighth and hooker. He could probably stand up in the back row for 10 minutes if he has too."

The difficulty facing Cronk is that Test incumbent Johnathan Thurston and Gold Coast's Scott Prince stand in his representative path for both the Kangaroos and Queensland.

But Bellamy said it's about time Cronk got his rewards for leading Melbourne to four grand finals in a row and two premierships in three years.

Thurston's North Queensland Cowboys have failed to make the NRL finals for the past two seasons.

"He has been knocking on the door. He played for Australia two years ago and he did a great job and they won by a record score," said Bellamy.

"Cooper will just keep knocking on the door and at some stage I'm sure the door will open for him."

Cronk was hopeful but accepted where he stood in the line of halfbacks.

"I'm very much a realist, there's some very good footballers in this competition and there's only room for a couple (on tour)," said Cronk.

"I've had a little bit of a taste for it and definitely the desire is there to have a taste of it again.

"I will not throw up the white flag ... hopefully one day the phone call comes."

Meanwhile White said it would be a dream to cap his season with a Test debut, after reclaiming his Blues jersey for NSW's Origin III win earlier in the year.

"That would be ideal. I will just wait and see what happens. All I can do is sit and wait and hope," he said.

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