BREAKING NEWS: Jarrod Croker fights back tears as Canberra Raiders star receives hero’s welcome on his 300th NRL game
- Jarrod Croker fought back tears on his 300th NRL game
- The Canberra star received a hero’s welcome in Canberra
- Croker has defied numerous career-threatening injuries
Jarrod Croker choked back tears as the Canberra star was treated to a rapturous ovation on his 300th NRL game.
Croker, who has fought back from numerous career-threatening injuries, stepped onto the turf once more on Friday night in front of a full house at GIO Stadium, who voiced their admiration for the Raiders stalwart.
Walking hand-in-hand with his son, Rory, Croker was visibly moved by his reception and had to compose himself before kick off.
He has become just the 48th NRL player to reach the milestone, the 18th player to achieve it with a single club and only the second Raiders player to reach 300 games.
Raiders coach Ricky Stuart admitted this week that he advised Croker to retire after witnessing first-hand the player’s body taking a beating from injuries.
Canberra Raiders stalwart Jarrod Croker fought back tears on his 300th appearance
The veteran has overcome numerous career-threatening injuries to reach the milestone
‘Injury on injury is the true killer in the NRL. So he wasn’t prepared for what I had to say. I told him I thought he should retire,’ Stuart wrote in his column for News Corp.
‘He wasn’t playing to the standard of the Jarrod I knew and I didn’t want him going out badly, being remembered for performances at the end of his career that could overshadow all those other memories he should have been remembered for.’
‘I told him I was trying to protect Jarrod from Jarrod.’
Needless to say, Croker did not take his coach’s advice.
‘He didn’t want to know about it so I told him to go away and think about it. I told him I didn’t want to be the coach to pick him in second grade. I thought he deserved better than that for all that he had given,’ Stuart wrote.
‘I understood. He wanted to play on. I also told him I couldn’t guarantee he’d be picked, that from now on his selection would be based purely on performance.
‘He understood that, saying even if all he gets to do is to help the younger blokes in the NSW Cup, he’d be happy to do that, but he wanted the chance. Again, he was all for the jersey.’
More to follow.