Sport Rugby League Relief for Maroons as Cooper Cronk is cleared for Origin I
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Relief for Maroons as Cooper Cronk is cleared for Origin I

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Cooper Cronk has been cleared to play Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener in Sydney after overcoming an ankle injury.

Maroons assistant Anthony Seibold confirmed Cronk had been given the green light from medical staff after resuming training on Tuesday.

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It was the first time Cronk had been sighted since rolling his ankle at their Gold Coast training camp on Friday.

“He trained really well last night. I can confirm he is going to start tonight,” Seibold said.

The Maroons assistant said Cronk was not the type of player who risked letting down his teammates by rolling the dice with an injury.

“Cooper is a real team person, he wouldn’t play if he was at any risk,” he said.

“He’s ready to go. When he says he is right and medical staff give him the green light, he is good to go.”

Seibold said Michael Morgan had impressed slotting into the halves in Cronk’s absence at training.

But he admitted Cronk’s availability was a relief for Queensland.

The Maroons have lost both games when Cronk has not started at halfback since he earned the No.7 jumper in 2012.

“Cooper’s record speaks for itself,” Seibold said.

“The last couple of games he missed Queensland haven’t gone too well.

“Having him in the group is a real win for us.”

Seibold said Cronk expected to be targeted by a monster NSW now that he had recovered from injury.

“Cooper gets traffic at him every week. He is used to having big bodies running at him,” he said.

NSW captain Paul Gallen labelled Cronk a pawn in Queensland’s mind games on Tuesday, adamant the Melbourne No.7 was never in any doubt to run out for the series-opener.

And Blues assistant coach Matt Parish said no one was surprised in NSW camp on Wednesday morning when the 32-year-old was officially cleared to play.

“He’s a quick healer obviously,” Parish said.

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